As I mentioned last week, there is a job fair coming up to the Long Beach Convention Center and it is strictly for College of Business?students at California State University, Long Beach.? ?Since this career fair is tomorrow, I thought I would touch on a few steps a person can take to have success at the job/career fair.? A career fair is a part of the job search process for those in the market of a new position.? Keep in mind that career fairs should be just one small part of your entire job search process; however, they can be a successful part. What I present you with is not a?guarantee to land you a job, but?by following these steps, you will be in position to strategically place yourself above other people at the job fair.
?The?Nine Keys to Success
Register Early. Some career fairs allow you to pre-register for the event.? This registration usually allows you to?submit a resume. With more fairs going to the Web, pre-registration will most likely become even more common. The big idea behind pre-registering, is that employers will have?a chance to prescreen applicants and take notes on who they might want to interview or meet before even meeting the person.
Research. Many students and job-seekers go to these fairs unprepared. You can get a head start on the competition by getting a list of the companies attending the career fair and doing some research on?the companies you are interested in or would want to interview with; be sure not to?waste time with companies you’re not interested in. With so much information about companies on the online, there is no excuse not to do your homework.
Resumes. Bring lots of resumes to the fair — at least two for each company for which you have an interest. Usually about 15 to 20 resumes depending on the size of the job fair.?
Tomorrow for instance, all employers received everyone’s resume in the form of a book.? All students were required to submit their resumes a week prior.? I don’t know about you, but I was given a book with over 400 resumes, chances are I would pay closer attention to the individuals who also brought me a resume in person.??For tips on writing a resume or cover letter, visit these:?Resume Blunders, Proofread Your Resumes, Amazing Cover Letters.
Portfolios. More and more experts are emphasizing the importance of a career portfolio. These portfolios should include copies of your resumes, a list of references, and samples of your best work. Times to present these portfolios can include either over a short break or meal or during a first interview. Prepare for the worst, but plan for the best.
Dress. Business Professional?attire is essential, even for those?beachside career fairs because image and first impressions are everything.?For interviews or career fairs, it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed.
Strategy.?Come up with?a strategy or plan of attack for the job fair. You’ve already done the first step by researching the companies you are interested in.?The next step is becoming familiar with the physical layout of the location.??It’s important to know where workshops and booths will be set up prior to finding your first company of interest.? Knowing the layout will give you a sense of confidence of knowing where things are and it will show to the employers.? Some experts suggest meeting with your top choices first thing in the morning,?moving on to others in the later afternoon and returning to your top choices at the end of the day to thank them again for their time. But remember to be patient?as your top choices may be the same choices of many others.
Intangibles. There are other things you can do to help make your job fair experience a success. First, don’t waste your time?meeting with companies you have no desire to work for. Second,?try to get some company literature from the booth before getting in line so you can read about the company while waiting; don’t just stand in line doing nothing.?
Networking. Career fairs are all about networking. Of course, you are building a network with the college recruiters or employers. However, you can also network with your fellow job-seekers in terms of sharing information about job leads, companies, and their recruiting strategies and styles.?Learn more on networking by visiting: Be Ready To Network.
Follow-up.?Many people would say the follow-up is one of the most important things you can do. You would be surprised at how few job-seekers actually take the time to follow-up?after the?career fair. This will give?an edge over the many others who do not. There are two ways to follow-up (I’m sure many more, but two I will touch on).?Calling the recruiter the evening of the fair and leaving a voicemail message thanking the recruiter again for his/her time that day is one way. Or?a more?traditional way?is to write a thank you note and mail it the next day to the address on the recruiter’s business card. In the letter, thank the recruiter for his/her time and?state your interest?for the position.
These strategies should help you with a successful job fair.? There are many more things that you can do, but these are some of the core steps that can be taken advantage of to set yourself apart from the crowd.