Career fairs serve as hubs of networking opportunities to those that are seeking employment. No other event provides an environment where an array of companies are posed for personal interaction and prepared to coordinate interviews. Capitalizing on these events can be the difference between beginning a happy career and sifting through common jobs, but attendance alone does not guarantee a job interview! To maximize your odds of securing employment, consider the following tips in creating a good impression with potential employers at career fairs.
Dress for (Initial) Success
Though your resume isn’t defined by your tie, polished dress conveys to prospective employers that you are sincere in your job search and capable of professionalism. Dressing professionally doesn’t necessarily entail dusting off your tuxedo from senior prom, but traditional, business casual attire is typically appropriate. Collared shirts and long pants, preferably slacks or chinos, is a great standard for men. Women could consider a blouse, a pair of dress pants or a skirt, and tasteful jewelry when making an outfit selection. Always ensure you are well-groomed to communicate a well-put-together appearance.
Come Equipped with the Best Resources
In seeking employment, nothing communicates earnestness more effectively than attending a career fair with a resume in hand. Beside the security of having your qualifications immediately ready for recitation, carrying your resume with you is a nonverbal indicator to employers that you are prepared to interview on the spot. The very presence of your resume can sharpen its contents.
Make your Life-Story 30 Seconds Long
Depending on the traffic of the career fair, it’s possible that prospective employers will forego an inspection of your resume in order to interact with as many attendees as possible. In this scenario, it is critical that you have a 30-second synopsis of your background and skills prepared. Always remember: preparation is not merely a scripted regurgitation of your history, it is a precious opportunity to showcase your personality. Employers are just as interested in you as they are your accomplishments!
Communicate your Aspirations
By sharing the hopes you have for your career with a prospective employer, you accomplish several benefits to yourself and the employer:
- You establish expectations for your potential employer. The employer will be far more likely to place you in a position that harmonizes with your vision if your goals are communicated.
- You demonstrate a strong personal drive. This quality can even trump skill to a certain degree.
- You are guaranteeing value to your employer by expressing your desire to progress.
When sharing your aspirations with a prospective employer, always be cautious to avoid appearing entitled. To prevent this kind of miscommunication, quickly explain to the employer how you intend to progress in your career.
Network with Confidence
The significance of confidence in any interview setting has been demonstrated in a host of studies. While remaining humble and grateful to the employer for the opportunity to converse, be firm in your convictions of your ability. If an interview or job offer doesn’t come about in a career fair, don’t be discouraged! Career fairs are excellent opportunities for networking. Be quick to ask employers if they know of any opportunities that would complement your unique skills. This request is a statement of drive and capability even in itself!