Ways To Squeeze A Whole Lot More Jobs Out Of A Job Fair
Job fairs are an excellent way to get your resume directly into the hands
of hiring managers. It's rare that a job seeker will have a chance to meet
many hiring managers in one morning, so it is important to prepare
appropriately for the event. While they don't advertise it, employers have
3 things on their mind when standing at their tables at the
job fair. They
1. "Have something to say to me when you walk up to my table."
2. "Don't walk by me. Come on up. I probably have other opportunities
available you don't know about."
3. "We both know why we are here, so feel free to ask me about the hiring
process and follow ups."
Rehearse your approach. Many job seekers
struggle with the introduction / elevator speech part of the job fair
because they are nervous, but remember nervousness is usually caused by a
lack of preparation. If the job seekers stresses over the introduction too
much he can appear to lack confidence. Andrea Stearns, a District Sales
Coordinator from Aflac in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, says, "Sell me. Be
ready to tell me why I should hire you."
While confidence is attractive and draws people in, your nervousness can
make people uncomfortable and unsure about you. To make the introduction
less stressful and get the conversation going, be prepared with ice
breaker questions that start with "I see that you...." "I heard you
say...." "I noticed.....", for example.
Approach every employer. There are several
reasons for doing this, but perhaps the two most important are 1) getting
face to face meetings with decision makers at companies you are interested
in working for, as well as, 2) discovering unadvertised job opportunities.
Bobbi Englert, a corporate recruiter from ServiceLink, says, "I often see
job seekers only visit the well-known brands at a job fair and bypass
everyone else. That is actually a mistake because many companies have
unadvertised jobs and internships and if you don't talk to the employer
you may miss out on a great opportunity." It is very difficult for a job
seeker to find the decision maker in the hiring process when relying
solely on a web search. By approaching every employer you are meeting
connected people you may not have had access to otherwise, and you will
have an opportunity to ask about other positions that many not have been
This is important because most hiring managers look internally for
candidates (or within their own professional networks) for candidates and
do not advertise the majority of their open positions online. At a job
fair you will have an opportunity to ask about all the positions the
company is planning on filling.
Ask for a job interview. If you are hitting
it off with a recruiter or you know you are a great candidate for their
open position, don't be shy about asking for a job interview. Its not a
secret why everyone is there. The recruiters need to hire and the job
seekers needs work. Asking for an opportunity to provide more information
about yourself or show the hiring manager how you can solve their current
work problems demonstrates initiative and will set you apart from other
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