Thursday, March 12, 2009

What is a job fair?

Job fairs are typically fair-like environments, in that employees assemble in rows of booths to speak to you about their jobs. They take place on college campuses, hotels, arenas and auditoriums.

Employers at some of the larger job fairs buy sophisticated booths to show off their products and services. That’s to attract your attention and “sell’ you on the companies. The event producers provide giveaways, networking and knowledge events and other activities to make it more festive, a fair-like atmosphere. Candidates walk up and down the rows of booths essentially “shopping” for jobs.

Job fairs are excellent places to land employment, because employers are there to set up interviews for candidates. Some interview and hire on the spot. No employer is going to hand you a job on a silver platter, you have to sell yourself if you want you resume to go into the “maybe” stack.

Here are some helpful tips to take with you to our job fair on March 25th, 2009.
Before the Job Fair:
•Find out what businesses will be there. The more information you can gather beforehand, the more successful the job fair is going to be for you
•Develop some questions you'd like to ask employers. Narrow down your list of businesses to include those who have positions you are interested in, or are businesses you think you might like to work for
•Proofread your resume - at least twice. If you don't already have one, it is a good idea to put a resume together for a job fair and make sure you have updated contact information included on your resume

At the Job Fair:
•Dress the part. As with a job interview, first impressions at a job fair are important. How you represent yourself sends an immediate message to employers about how serious you are in your job search
•Take time to talk to employers. Don't just drop off a resume and move to the next booth
•Have a firm handshake and maintain eye contact. Let employers know how serious you are. Greet the employer with a firm handshake, and maintain eye contact throughout your conversation

After the Job Fair:
•Follow up with a thank you note. If you picked up a business card, or the name of the company's job fair representative, send a thank you note a day or two after the job fair

The Baltimore Employment Guide wishes you luck in your job search. Please feel free to leave any comments of your past job fair experience.

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