Attending a job fair can be intimidating. With so many people competing for the same job, it’s difficult to stand out as the unique employee you know you are. Here are a few tips to follow so you can make a lasting impression at a job fair.
Do your research
Before the job fair, conduct some basic research on the companies you have the most interest in. Knowing some of their policies, their mission statement, goals, and services is instrumental in impressing an employer and appealing to them as a future employee. Asking specific questions and making references to information you find on their website shows the employer that you are truly interested in working for that company.
Make a strong first impression
When you first meet an employer, firmly shake their hand and maintain eye contact when you introduce yourself. This shows that you are confident. Also, smile! Although you may be feeling intimidated, make it clear that you are happy to be speaking with this employer and excited to be there.
Put yourself on display
This is your time to shine. Once you begin speaking to a potential employer, you only have a few minutes to show them why they should hire you. Mention your achievements and any special projects you worked on. Don’t just speak about where you worked in the past. Tell them what you accomplished there.
Don’t try to be a jack of all trades
Be specific and focused about what kind of job you want. Don’t come up to the table asking what opportunities are available. Your previous research should have also included a look into what positions they’re offering. Have one in mind that you want to discuss and focus your conversation towards that. If you want a human resources job, gear the discussion towards your experience in human resources and what you enjoy about working in that field.
End on a high note
Your final impression should be a lasting one. Ask about the next steps in the application process. Offer to come by the employer’s office for a longer conversation or informational interview in person. Make sure you thank the person for his/her time, and request a business card. This shows that you are committed to following up and are truly interested in the position.
Within a few days after the job fair, follow up with the people you spoke to. Although it seems old fashioned, sending a thank you note to thank them for their time and for speaking with you comes off very professional and impressive. It shows the recruiter what type of worker you are and is often the difference between getting offered a position or not. Be sure to ask about any other opportunities to meet and have a discussion if you didn’t bring it up during the in person interview.