The purpose of job fairs is to bring employers and prospective employees together. Job fairs can target specific skill sets, industries or demographics. For example, a fair for women, minorities or veterans.
There are many job fairs, which cater to a variety of industries and aim to bring people together with employers looking to expand their workforce.
A job fair has a simple goal: meet with employers, other professionals, find out about new career options, promote yourself, your abilities, and hopefully, get a job. Make a contact that will lead to a new job. You can make the most of your job fair experience by knowing how to use it.
Find job fairs using
Online, you can get information on upcoming fairs. LinkedIn is a great place to start. Job fairs aim to bring in as many candidates and companies as possible. They are therefore well advertised online. You can find upcoming events and fairs by searching for job or career fairs near you.
Search for jobs by demographic or industry. For example, you can search for fairs for LGBTQ+ communities or STEM companies. Double check the industry and group of people that are attending the fair. If you do not have access to your own computer, the public library may offer free internet access.
If you are going to attend a career fair or job fair, be sure that you have not signed up by mistake for an event where you will be hired. Hiring events differ from career or job fairs. According to Indeed.com, the website for career listings, at hiring events companies interview candidates on site. The preparation for these events is much more detailed than that of a job fair or career fair, which aims to bring candidates together with employers and peers in the same industry.
What should you wear at a job fair
According to Jobcase.com, an online career resource, you can wear business casual at most job fairs. You don’t need to wear blue jeans, nor a full suit, just a business casual outfit. Dress “one step up” in your role. For example, you might be comfortable wearing jeans and a polo, but you should consider dressing with dress pants and a shirt.
Tops with collars are best. Polo shirts, button downs, dress shirts and blouses.
You can wear pants, slacks or dress pants, as well as chinos, Khakis and khakis. Keep patterns and solid colors to a minimum, unless you are interviewing for Chanel. Make sure that everything you wear is neat, clean, and ironed.
According to Austin Peay State University’s Career Services Office in Clarksville Tennessee, it is best to avoid wearing anything above the knee if you are wearing a dress or skirt. Although it’s antiquated and outdated, many people still have traditional notions of what an office-appropriate outfit is. One of these individuals might even be able to hire you.
State University of New York advises that you should leave the sneakers and sandals at home, in favour of more dressy shoes. Dress shoes with closed-toes — such as Oxfords, Brogues and Loafers — are always good choices.
You can also choose flats, mules, and closed-toe heels. However, you may want to reserve the stilettos with strappy straps for an evening out. According to Rutgers University’s Office of Career Exploration and Success, your heels should not be higher than one or two inches.
When in doubt, Rutgers suggests that you look up the dress codes for companies within your field or for an employer you would like to be associated with.
What to Bring to an Employment Fair
The type of resume and business cards you bring will depend on the industry. Randstad International Human Resources says that you should bring multiple copies of your CV and business cards. You may also want to bring your portfolio, which showcases your previous projects, campaigns, or designs, depending on the industry you work in.
According to Indeed, you can bring in “targeted” resumes. Targeted resumes, unlike a traditional resume highlight relevant skills and accomplishments for a particular industry. If you are in sales and want to switch to customer service then a targeted CV might emphasize your communication or customer retention skills.
According to Indeed, you should include on your business card your name, your home city, your contact details — including phone number and email address — as well as links to LinkedIn and your professional website. Include your current job title, employer or general title to describe your work experience.
Randstad recommends that you prepare an “elevator speech”. This means you should be able to sum up yourself, your abilities and career goals within 30 seconds.
What to do before a Job Fair
Johnny Roccia is the director of Ama La Vida’s career and life coach firm. He says that the night before a job fair you should post a message on LinkedIn about it. If you do not have a LinkedIn account, create one now, says Roccia.
Roccia says that a job fair is likely to have a specific hashtag. Look it up, and add it into your posts. Then, you can use LinkedIn to track everyone that you met at the job fair. You simply send connection requests. According to Roccia, you can create a QR link that will take people back to your LinkedIn page. Use the QR code to add to business cards or a portfolio. You can even make it your phone’s background.
Roccia’s second tip is to not think of job fairs as places where you can only find jobs. Think of job fairs as networking events that will help you get closer to your dream job and meet potential future colleagues.
Don’t consider a failed job fair if you do not get hired. Think of it more as an opportunity to network with people from your field and make connections which could lead to a job.