A job fair presents an excellent opportunity to evaluate the current market, to meet employers and industry experts as well as recruitment agencies; you are expanding your network and learning vital industry information thus creating your own ‘job hunting strategy’.
This is your chance to interact, obtain contact details and, of course, familiarise yourself with corporate recruiters. However, there will be hundreds of people there and it is for this reason that you need to pay particular attention to your line of approach. For example, consider the following:
Try and find out in advance what companies will be attending, spend some time researching how many candidates they have recently recruited, remember time will be of the essence and you do not want to waste valuable time talking perhaps to a company who is just making a presence, but will not be recruiting for some time.
Bear in mind the opening time; you should be there early, check transport and parking facilities in advance. Find out beforehand the times of any seminars and presentations because there could be a limitation on the number and you want to be at the front of the queue. Furthermore, recruiters and representatives from companies are fresh at the beginning of the day and having to repeat themselves for several hours during the day will soon tire them.
Look your best, first impressions stick, smart, tidy and an overall clean appearance cannot be over emphasised. It is important to be relaxed but professional. Think about your voice, be clear in your diction, prepare a brief but effective pitch about yourself; your objective is to be remembered. You will portray an image of confidence and charisma if you are comfortable in your appearance and how you speak also a solid positive introduction could assist you to the next crucial stage – the interview.
Remember to take several CV’s although not all companies accept CV’s at job fairs, it is best to be organised. Prepare questions to ask recruiters and if unfamiliar with recruitment agencies ask about the recruitment process in detail and any available literature they may have. Collect information on companies in which you have an interest and investigate graduate placements offered by an organisation.
Bear in mind the following questions:
What entry-level positions do you have presently or in the near future?
What kind of background and specific qualifications do you look for when filling these positions?
How do you see this field changing (or perhaps not) over the next 5 or 10 years?
What practical advice could you give me if I was lucky enough to break into this industry?
Research industries and make a note of jobs which are currently in demand, expanding industries, entry requirements, etc make sure your knowledge on job fields in which you are keen is up-to-date. Career fairs can be one of the best places to secure a graduate placement.