Top 10 Tips for Job Fair Success from the experts at Job Shop South West
Attending job fairs (sometimes also called recruitment fairs or career fairs) can be a really effective way of finding your next employment opportunity. Here at Somerset Jobs, we understand the stresses and strains of job seeking, and appreciate that the lead up to attending a jobs fair can be a nerve-wracking time.
1. Do your research – what jobs fairs are taking place?
When you are job seeking it’s important to keep up to date with opportunities to meet potential employers, so on the Somerset Jobs website we have a dedicated events page where you can easily use our calendar to see what events are coming up.
2. Do your research – what employers are attending?
Jobs fairs really are a useful resource for candidates to find out about potential employers and the positions they have available. Fairs are typically organised in a large hall/venue where businesses and organisations will set up stands manned by members of their recruiting team and possibly some staff that already work there. This means it’s vital to do your research beforehand so you know exactly which employers you want to make a bee-line for on the day, so you can come with a plan of which are the most important stands for you to visit to make sure you don’t miss any suitable opportunities.
3. Do your research – what positions may be available?
Once you have selected the employer stands that are of most interest to you from the list of those attending, it is worth checking the company website for details of any positions they currently have posted – this may help you narrow down what you want to discuss with them on the day, and in all eventualities will give you a good feel for the work they do and their company culture.
4. Prepare your list of questions
Depending on how busy the jobs fair is, you may not have a lengthy opportunity to talk to potential employers, so it is wise to have a list of questions prepared. What are the aspects of your new job that are of paramount importance to you: Role? Location? Hours? Opportunities to train and develop?
5. Prepare your key selling points
Job fairs are a wonderful opportunity to meet potential employers face to face allowing them to get a real feel for you and your suitability. After having researched the company in question (tip 2), put together a list of the key points about yourself that you want to get across – the more you can discuss on the day about your motivation and experience, the better chance you have of receiving a follow up after the event.
6. Dress to Impress
The old adage says that we only have one chance to make a first impression, and this is very true at jobs fairs. Ensure that you dress professionally, as you may well be meeting your future employer or interviewer. Smart attire demonstrates that you are a competent and motivated individual with a passion to get ahead in your career.
7. Speak Up
We know that you are likely to be nervous approaching employer’s stands, however don’t worry – the teams manning the stands will appreciate this, and you won’t be the only person who might be a little on edge. Remembering the questions you have, and the key points you need to get across, it is important to strike up a conversation as confidently as you can, and there will always be a friendly welcome at each stand to put you at ease. If you know you get particularly nervous in these situations, why not buddy up with someone who is also attending, or take a friend or family member along with you for support?
8. Don’t forget the follow up
Employer teams at jobs fairs will likely have met a fair number of potential recruits across the event, so don’t forget to ask about the next stage. Are you taking away information to browse/ complete later? Are you leaving them with a CV or contact information? What is their anticipated timescale for further contact? Before you move on to another stand, make sure that you’ve taken note about further contact and follow up.
9. Check your notes before you leave
Before you leave the event, it is worth sitting for a moment and making sure you have all the information you need to progress your next steps. Have you got the correct contact details and information noted for employers and positions of choice? Did you remember to leave your contact details and any supporting information you brought with you? Did you get the opportunity to discuss everything that was important to you? If any of these are a no, then pop back to the relevant stand – it may be quieter than when you visited earlier and a re-visit will only add to the motivated stance you’ve put across to a potential employer.
10. Have fun
It might sound strange to advise that you enjoy your visit to a jobs fair – yes, it can be a little daunting but it is also a really positive opportunity to meet potential employers in person and to practice talking about your motivations, your skills and experiences. Don’t forget that all of the employers present at a jobs fair will be looking to recruit as soon as possible and wearing a smile is a great way to make that lasting impression.