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Are Job Fairs Really Worth It?
In today’s tough job market, any opportunity to find a job is well worth the effort. Job fairs, also called “career fairs,” are a great job searching resource. They allow applicants to meet dozens of employers face to face. Not only this, but these employers are actively seeking candidates, so your chances of getting hired are much better when compared to submitting your resume blind or online with the rest of the crowd.
While job fairs offer the opportunity to meet potential employers face to face, they also offer a place to practice for future interviews. There’s no better place to sharpen your selling skills. If nothing else, you’ll walk away with a better idea of how to sell yourself and much more confidence doing it.
So, how do you prepare for a job fair? Well first, you have to find them. Use your favorite search engine to look for job fairs in your immediate and surrounding areas. If you’re willing to travel (this is never a bad idea), check nearby cities and states. Many participating employers may have an office in your area, so don’t rule out out-of-state job fairs.
After finding a list of job fairs you might be interested in, find out which companies will be participating. Each job fair will have a website that lists participating companies. Next, choose which companies you would like to work for. Keep in mind that you should also research the positions each company wants to fill and if you’re qualified for them. Once you have made several matches, research the companies on your list. Find out if they are solid companies with growth potential. You can find this information on the company website, business news websites, through press releases, and even the business section of your local newspaper.
With your list in hand, you can now make your way through the job fair without wasting much time. Visit the booths or tables of your top choices first. If you have time, walk through again just to see if there are any other companies that look interesting. You might find an additional company or two that may turn out to be a good fit.
Before you head out to the job fair, make sure you have at least a dozen resumes and a list of references to hand out. Next, always dress the part. This means never show up in jeans and a T-shirt. Professional attire always makes a good first impression. It will also make you feel more confident about approaching potential employers.
What you do after a job fair can be just as important as what yo...