Are you a recruiter?
If you are looking to attend a local jobs fair with a view to meeting with potential employers and securing a job at the end of it, you can boost your chances with some careful planning. A jobs fair offers the perfect opportunity to network and rub shoulders with the people you need to impress, so be sure to make the most of your visit with a little extra effort. Here are our top tips for maximising your jobs fair experience:
1. Plan what to wear
First impressions count, so if you dress for success, you are more likely to get off to a good start with potential employers. View the Jobs Fair visit as your first interview for a job, so it’s best to wear a freshly laundered shirt and tie, or skirt/trouser suit for the girls, with smartly polished, comfortable shoes. Cover up any tattoos or piercings as you want to give the appearance that you are professional and taking your job search seriously.
2. Research the companies attending
Many jobs fairs have information on the companies that will be attending on their websites. If you arm yourself with knowledge about the company you plan to see, you’ll be more likely to stand out from the crowd, showing a genuine interest in the organisation and the roles that are available. By doing your research, you can also prioritise visiting the stands of the employers that you’re most keen to see.
3. Create a game plan
Having worked out which employers are at the top of your list, you can prepare a game plan for getting around the stands that interest you the most. Be sure to arrive early so you have enough time to get your bearings and locate the employers you want to see. Be prepared that you might have to queue for some stands, so a degree of patience may be required. While you’re waiting in line, don’t be shy to network with others. You never know who might be able to help you in your job search.
4. Prepare how you will sell yourself
Bring copies of your CV to leave with potential employers, as well as a pen and a notepad to jot down information on who you have met and their advice to you. When you introduce yourself for the first time, you will be expected to give your career pitch – extend your hand, say hello and state your name, followed by a quick summary of your skills and experience. You won’t have much time, so you’ll need to prepare what you plan to say, whilst showing initiative, enthusiasm and good manners.
5. Body language is important, show your interest
Body language is the unspoken conversation you are having without even realising it. If you stand up straight with your shoulders back, you give the impression of someone who is confident, and this is the type of person that an employer is looking for. If you are slumped, shifting your weight from side to side and fidgeting, you will appear disinterested. Similarly, when you talk to potential employers, maintain good eye contact and show your attentiveness by nodding or smiling.
6. Speak with all recruiting companies
As well as direct employers, recruiting companies also attend jobs fairs. It is worth planning to speak to these companies because they are responsible for filling all manner of vacancies. You never know, they might suggest a job opportunity that you had not considered before. You should treat your conversation with a recruiter as if you are speaking to any other potential employer.
7. Prepare valuable and thoughtful questions
It is a good idea to do a little research to come up with a handful of appropriate questions to ask employers. This shows willing, as well as creating a favourable impression. By asking specific questions, you are also more likely to be memorable to employers. They will speak to so many candidates over the course of the jobs fair, so it is important that you are able to make yourself stand out.
8. Ask for business cards or contact details
Collect business cards for the people you have met so you have their direct contact details to hand, enabling you to drop them a line at a later date. After all, they may not come knocking on your door – you may be expected to track down a job if you want it enough. You can also use this information to do your research, such as finding contacts on LinkedIn and sending them connection requests.
9. Follow up with a thank you email
Following up with a thank you email is a great excuse to re-establish contact with a company representative that you met at the jobs fair. Keep it brief and professional, thanking them for their time and the invaluable advice they may have given you. This also gives you the ideal opportunity to reiterate your interest in the company and remind them that you are the perfect candidate for the job.