Our Experts | Lori Angel
In the market for a new job? Try a job fair.
The thought of attending a job fair—where hundreds of applicants are approaching dozens of employers—may sound intimidating. Even if you’re confident in your skill set, you may feel like there’s no chance you’ll land your dream job at a job fair.
But that doesn’t have to be the case. I’ve been in the staffing and recruiting industry for the last 15 years. I attend job fairs at least once a month where I’m searching for great candidates to fill open jobs with my clients.
I’m here to tell you: Job fairs WORK! You can find a great opportunity at a job fair; you just have to be ready to put in some time and effort.
Think of a job fair kind of like speed dating—you have just a few minutes to make a first impression with an employer, which could lead to a call for an interview later. You’ll want to be sure to dress AT LEAST as nice as you’d dress to go to work, if not a little bit nicer. This of course includes great personal hygiene, too.
Bring a resume and come prepared with your work history and references. Some employers will have applications you can fill out on the spot, so you want to be prepared with all of the necessary information.
Generally, I do my reference checks and try to follow up with job fair candidates within a few days to a week. But, if after a day or two, the potential candidate is calling in, I know they are going to be reliable because they truly want to work with us. It is absolutely okay (and probably even beneficial) to follow up a job fair with a quick call or email.
Let me give you one final hint—the reason job fairs are a great place to find jobs? Face-to-face contact. If you can impress and connect with a recruiter or hiring manager at a job fair, you have a one-up compared to submitting a resume and hoping they like your background. At an in-person job fair, you can talk through job requirements, and mention any qualifications you may have left off your resume.
Have questions? Let me know! Leave a comment below or email me here.