That Sounds Fair
Someone once compared job fairs to speed dating
➔ There can be some definite truth in that. Think about it. There are two groups of people, each there to check the other out with the hopes of making a connection. Sounds exactly like both speed dating and job fairs.
In all seriousness, job fairs are great opportunities for the job seeker – not just as a potential job source, but they are great venues for networking and making contacts which can lead to other contacts.
Many levels of benefit
Job fairs also can be treated as a dry run. They are real-world chances to experiment with your elevator speech as well as answers to interview questions (even if you’re not interested in working for that company). Interacting with potential employers is not only great practice but it’s also a confidence builder.
Keep in mind that the company representatives at job fairs are there to meet and speak with people just like you. All the while you’re seeking an employer, they’re seeking an employee. That puts you both on an even keel.
If you’re not interested in the company, mixing with potential employers may present opportunities to ask about other companies, other industries. The person with whom you’re speaking may know of other opportunities or contacts who are more to your liking. Many of the job reps at the fair bring business cards. Collect as many as you can and follow up with those individuals as you would with anyone you meet at a networking event.
Naturally you’ll want to bring copies of your resume with you. In addition, you might want to bring a copy of it on a thumb drive. In the event you run out, you can use the thumb drive to print additional copies. What’s more, if you’re out of printed resumes, the recruiter may be able to download a copy from your thumb drive to their laptop (assuming they have one) or even to their phones.
Another big advantage of attending a job fair is that you can do it without the pressure of seeking out and/or trying to impress someone. As we noted earlier, even if you’re not interested in the companies, there are plenty of reasons to attend a job fair. This approach can put you in a much more relaxed frame of mind.
In addition to being a place where you could land your next job, a job fair offers multiple ways to benefit your job search. Don’t shy away from them. Use them to your best advantage.