Job fair is a highly-competitive place. You got to put your best foot forward in order to land in the job of your dreams, and if you just recently got out of college, then it would be a lot tougher fight since you need to “dress to impress” to land that very first job.
According to research, 48% of fresh graduates don’t have any job lined up right after graduating and this rate is increasing significantly year by year. To make it much more difficult, job market is getting more competitive than ever and since it is a competition, the competent and the aggressive are the most likely winners. Not only competence makes one a winner, you got to have an ounce of aggressiveness as well. Aggressive job hunters do not let the job call on them, they seek it – in the job fair. With proper approach, you will surely have a satisfactory result in your job hunting.
There was once this guy that I knew, Ben, who was laid off from his job. Not willing to just sit around the house and wait for something to happen, he searched the internet for a job. One week later, he found out that there will be a Tech Fair to be held in his area. He decided to attend it since he landed his last job at a fair.
Convinced with the potentials of the career fair, he armed himself by gathering helpful information on how to prepare the necessary papers so he can avoid the common resume mistakes that many overlooked as well as the kind of documents to attach with it. The next day, Ben set out with high confidence and hope. His confidence, however, was shattered when he saw the long queue of job applicants waiting to be ushered in. This was entirely different from his previous experience.
Not willing to give up, he kept wearing his courage and patiently waited in line. He saw familiar faces, friends, and even former coworkers. To kill the time, and also to properly prepare himself, he started asking questions regarding what was going on inside the fair and how to deal with it. Willingly, some of his friend, who were veterans of the career fair system, gave him these helpful tips on how to survive the highly competitive world of job fairs.
1. Go Straight to The List
As soon as you get inside, your priority should be the list of participating companies. From that list, choose the companies that interest you. Rather than spending your precious energy from wandering from booth to booth, find a place where you can go over the list.
2. Do A Quick Homework
On a listing sheet, which are usually being handed out and provided, check the job openings in the company of your interest. You may use a computer, if available, to look up the companies of interest.
3. Plan Your Route
Get a floor map of the venue. This is usually found at the entrance or at the reception table. Find the location of the companies of your interest on the map and plan your route so as to save time and energy.
4. Keep Yourself Calm, Energized and Enthusiastic
Try to make an impression to the company representative that you are highly interested in their company. Strike up a friendly conversation with a representative about the company and be a good listener.
5. Approach The Decision Maker
If possible, try talking to the hiring manager of the most senior of the team. There may be lots of useful information from recruiters or human resources personnel regarding the company, but the hiring manager is certainly the one with the most influence.
6. During Interview, Do Not Sell Yourself Short
Tell the interviewer about your strengths and what you can contribute to the company when hired. Companies are greatly interested in your potentials. Prepare a short statement about yourself and your credentials without being conceited. Two minutes is sufficient for this. The key to successful interview is capturing the interviewer’s interest.
7. Follow Up is Important
So try to ask for the name of the person you can call or write to. If you can ask for a business card, so much better.
8. Redundancy is Okay
When making a follow up through a letter, always re-attach your resume even if they already asked it on the job fair event. Two copies of each as you will be addressing the human resources office and the hiring manager. Mention in your letter that you have already met the company’s representative and been interviewed during the job fair. Reiterate once more your strengths and potentials and what you can contribute to the company’s welfare when hired.
9. Phone Them Up
One week is long enough waiting time to follow up through phone. You may inquire regarding the statues of your application.
10. Limit Not Yourself
Do not focus on one opportunity. Use the power of the internet to do research on other participating companies. Check to see if these companies have additional openings. In doing so, you can plan your job hunting well.
Always remember that the job market is highly competitive. Do not be overwhelmed by the number of applicants applying on the same as you are. Don’t be discouraged if you go home without being hired. Just keep a positive outlook and use this experience to make you better prepared for your next application.
The contacts and information you gathered from the last career fair will be of use to you in the near future. Persistence and preparedness make a lot of difference – because dream jobs may appear in the most unexpected place in a most unexpected time.
Featured photo credit: About Careers via jobsearch.about.com