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A job fair is your first chance towards getting a job or landing an interview or even an internship; here you come across numerous companies, some of which might interest you! And if they do, you also have a chance of knowing the requirements of those organisations. The best part of a job/career fair is perhaps the opening of avenues with meeting people who may affect your career opportunities in the future. Considering the gravity of the situation, it is wise to put your best foot forward and begin to prepare for a job fair.
Begin your preparation by visiting the career centre at your college or university; you are sure to get some help there. Ask the advisor to review your resume and give you some tips concerning interviews. Your confidence boost begins from here. The second step of your preparation would be to ‘double-check’ the resume by yourself the night before. Following this is the third step of conducting small research on the internet on the companies that would be coming at the fair and shortlist the names of those that you are most inclined towards working in. When you see the list there, match your list with it, and if you find a few new ones, you can take a minute to think if you want to give them a shot as well. You can avoid feeling lost in the fair when you carry out this research.
Take the preparation process a step ahead and try and answer a very pertinent question: ‘Would you hire you?’; write down the points that make you stand out from the crowd, and you are already prepared to answer one of the inevitable questions in an interview. Keeping a pitch ready for yourself is going to keep your adrenalin rushing. You could practice the other frequently asked questions at an interview as well. P.S. Do not forget to make several copies of your resume ready at hand.
Looking the part for an interview is a mandate; hence your next vital step to prepare for a job fair is to find the appropriate kind of clothing. Neither should you over-dress nor under-dress; it has to be just right. Keep it to a ‘business casual’ look, that should be good enough.
Wear your confidence on your sleeve; do not look bewildered when you walk into the premises, take some time, calm yourself and then begin the ordeal. It would be best if you could reach there a little early, it allows time for your nerves to settle down. Prioritise on the company by going through that list you have with you and approach the recruiters. You could work in the reverse order, i.e., by approaching the company that you have at the bottom of your list. In this way, you actually get to practice before you meet the one you are most interested in. Save the best for the last, if you will.
Making direct eye contact is an essential part of exhibiting your convictions, which is why you should never look down or somewhere else while talking during the meeting. Do not waste time talking about things that are not relevant to the job position; instead, talk about your strengths and how you can make their company better. Ensure that they are happy to talk to you and don’t rush to hand out your resume, even though you know you have several copies of it with you. Leave an impression that makes them ask for your resume showing an interest in hiring you and giving up a business card upfront.
In case they do not do so, you can ask for a business card as it serves the purpose of having direct contact with someone of the organisation you wish to be employed in some day. You could further use this card to send a quick thank you note immediately post the interview as a sign of courtesy and a good professional habit. Taking a pamphlet from the representative, is another wise action, as it will help you remember the position and the company you applied.
Take down notes that you think would be important for later use, such as the next steps post the interview, or information about some other managers whom you could talk to in case some of your queries are not cleared by the one representing the company at the fair. It is most likely that you will forget a few things like the names of the representatives, or the name of the company or the position being offered, etc. As prevention is always better than cure, so, having your notes handy will be beneficial without a doubt.
Attending the career fair doesn’t bring an end to the job hunt process; the; the follow-ups need to be done regularly. Now that you have the contact information of a member of the company you can expand your network further and keep working at it. You can even talk to your mates who have attended the fair as well and exchange information, in that way too; you would be continuing with your networking. Best of luck then, it’s about time you begin to prepare for a job fair.
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