tips for attending a job fair

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Job fair

Searching for a job can be stressful, and attending job fairs can be overwhelming. Proper preparation will make the process more enjoyable and help you impress potential employers. Follow my seven steps to job fair success, and your dream job will be yours in no time!

 1. Research:  Find out which companies will be attending the job fair.  Pick the companies that interest you, and do some research on them.  What jobs do they have available?  Are you a good fit for their company?  Remember, they need to like you, but it’s just as important that you like them.  Write down the list of companies you plan to visit, and jot down a few notes about them.  A plan of attack is important, especially if the job fair is extremely busy.  Companies spend a lot of money to hire the right people.  Don’t be distracted by koozies and free pens.  Your career is more important that that!

 2.  Dress appropriately:  Unless it says differently on the advertising for the job fair, dress in business attire.  No matter what, you should look clean and professional.  You have a short window to make a good impression and to stand out from all the other job seekers.  Plus, it shows that you are taking this seriously.

 3. Bring your resume and information:  I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a good, mistake-free resume.  When a lot of people are competing for the same job, an error on your resume could cost you an interview.  You’ve had weeks to put it together.  It it’s not put together well, what kind of employee will you be?  Carry copies of your resume in a folder so that they don’t get crumpled.  Make sure to bring enough to hand out to a company that wants one.  Also bring a pen and a sample job application filled out with your information.  You can easily find them online, and it’s the best way to have your information organized in case you are asked to fill out an application at the job fair.

 4. Get to the job fair early:  parking can be an issue, especially in communities that have a high unemployment rate.  Getting there early will help ensure a parking spot, which will help you stay focused.  No reason to add any other stress onto an already stressful situation.  It’s also nice to get to the employers while they are still fresh.  Remember, it’s a long day for them.  If you can’t get there early, don’t worry about it, but looking for a job is a full-time job, so make it important.

 5. Shake hands and make eye contact:  You might think these two things are obvious, but not everyone remembers the importance of them.  Your potential employers could interview you on the spot.  First impressions are very important.  A nice firm handshake and eye contact while you are having a conversation with employers will go a long way!

6. Network:  when you are looking for work, everyone you meet is a potential contact.  Make sure to be friendly, and if the opportunity does arise, introduce yourself to other job seekers.  Talk with each other about the type of employment you would like to find.  Another attendee could know of a job that would be perfect for you.  I don’t burn any bridges, and I treat everyone with respect.  The clerk at the grocery store could end up the owner of a company some day.  Also, It’s not a bad idea to carry business cards with your contact information on them.  You can GET simple cards printed pretty inexpensively.  It’s well worth the investment.

7.  Take a few moments before you leave to jot down notes about the employers you spoke with and whom you would like to contact again.   Sending a simple thank you note to a potential employer shows that you are sincerely interested and keeps you on their radar.  It’s important to write down some notes before you leave.  You’ve just met a lot of people, and you wouldn’t want to forget stuff.

 I hope you had a great job fair experience, and I hope it leads you to the perfect job so you never have to attend one again.  Good luck!

Sponsored by: JobsGuide Inc.  www.jobfairsnebraska.com