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Anyone went to a job fair before?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm going to my first one next Thursday (it's taking place on college campus which makes my life easier) and the good thing about this job fair is that you can see which companies are coming to the fair online.

Since I signed up for it online I can just put down which companies I'm interested in so I have a list of companies that I want to visit their booths next Thursday (plus by doing this the companies have a right to look at my resume ahead of time).

I'm wondering if anyone had any luck at job fairs before and can give me pointers and such? The college is also going speed networking which is one day before job fair so I'm going to that event as well.

I don't finish with my degree until the end of Dec of this year but I need to land on a job ASAP so I can be on my own for once. My goal is to land on a job by the end of April but if I don't land on one by the end of Dec I'm in deep shit to be honest. 

If you are wondering about my resume I have five jobs on it that includes real estate, magazine business, university, and help running a record store. The record store gig is fun but I don't want to do it forever so yeah I'm looking for a career job. 

If anyone of you guys have HR experience and want to give me points on my job skills I can send you my resume if you want.

I know it might be odd posting this on a forum but I don't mind. The more I talk to people about this the better.  :) 

post #2 of 11

I have never been to one but if it were me I would definitely treat it like a big interview. First impressions are lasting impressions and you definitely want to make a good one. I would have plenty of copies of your resume available so you can offer each person at the booth their own copy and dress appropriately which I think goes without saying. Maybe do some research on each company as best you can so you have a little background on them prior to speaking with them. Sorry I can't be more help.

post #3 of 11

^ Good advice

 

It is also a good idea to get someone professional to look over your resume. A poorly written/presented resume can detract from your achievements. Use lots of action verbs i.e created, streamlined, devised, designed, improved, implemented not "worked for" or "employed by" as they make you look passive not the active go-getter.

post #4 of 11

Have different versions of your resume targeted for each company you're interested in. Use it as an opportunity to learn more about the types of positions offered and don't expect too much. A lot of companies will just tell you to apply online.

 

And check some of these links out

 

http://jobsearchtech.about.com/od/jobfair10/l/aa070102.htm

 

http://jobsearchtech.about.com/od/jobfair10/l/aa120197.htm

 

http://www.quintcareers.com/career_fair_resources.html

 

http://ssincstl.blogspot.com/2009/10/job-fair-tips.html

 

http://www.yudu.com/item/details/78237/Top-10-Job-Fair-Tips

post #5 of 11
I went to one once, but didn't get a job. It was still a good experience.

Research the companies you're interested in and make a list of thoughtful questions for each one. All sorts of questions, from the industry in general to personal questions to the recruiters about their experience at the company and where they plan to take their careers. Get their cards and follow up with a thank you letter (not email) and ask a question or two in the letter. That might get them to respond and develop a conversation. Getting to know the recruiters will give you an edge. Good luck!
post #6 of 11

I've been to a couple. Couple of things that helped me. I always take a few minutes outside to just slow down and collect myself. If you smoke, bring a breath mint. Remember to be positive. Never talk negative about a past job. Even if it sucked. When you shake hands, look people in the eye. Be secure about your abilities, but don't be cocky. Be professional. If nothing else this is a good way to get introduced to the wonderful world of job interviews. Good Luck!  

post #7 of 11

I am not in HR, but I have interviewed quite a few, mostly individually. The only job fair I've been to was when the company opened a new facility in Ohio and as the senior IT staff sent out to bring the site up, I dropped by the fair to check it out and maybe get some quick impressions.

The first thing that got to me was how hectic it was.  As many already noted, take some time outside and collect yourself.  When I walked in, even tho I am not the one looking for a job, it was really busy and I was like "ok... too many people, too busy... Let me find our booth so I can say hi and get the hell out of here." Since you already know who will be at the fair, have a plan ready.  Survey the site, look at the map and formulate a quick plan on moving from one interesting employer to another.

Dress professionally and appropriately.  I don't know what type of jobs the ppl there were looking for, but some definitely seem like they just got off the street.  No one will take you seriously if you don't.

Come prepared. Resumes (different versions for different job types) well organized so you don't have to spend time fumbling with it).  Firm handshake when offered. I have shook with some limp hands and believe me, it feels horrible on my end.

You probably won't have time to talk with recruiters much, but when you do, be concise.  Prepare a few intro tailored to the different industries you are interested in and listen well. Do not interrupt and note recruiter's body language.  I had a few people who literally talked themselves out of a possible offer.  I was thinking... ok stop now, let me move on but nope... they kept talking and talking and the more they talked, they revealed more of themselves that I really find not appealing. 

Some recruiters may want to talk to you at length, some may be there just to accept resume and pass out brochures.  Up to you to recognize what may be the best course of action but again, if you don't show that you are interested in the job, few recruiters will go out of their way to entice you, especially when they haven't had a chance to even browse your resume.

I am of the school that it is better to only hit a few potential employers that suits you well  than hit a good numbers of those present.  Be prepare to spend more time than you planned if the recruiters are really interested in talking with you.  You may run out of time and not visit them all, so it is important that you plan and prioritize prior to the fair or in the beginning. 

Most of all, relax and enjoy. Each interview is a learning process... I think it is fair to say that most of us had screw up at least an interview or two. Be prepare to reflect and learn from the experience. 

I am sorry, lots of rambling and repeating information previously posted but they are worth repeating :)  Goodluck.
 

post #8 of 11

I remember getting an interview from one of the job fairs when I was in school.

 

Basically dress appropriately like you would at an interview (t-shirts, sneakers, shorts, etc. is not recommended), have plenty of copies of your resume available, do a bit of research on the companies you are interested in and have an idea on what you are going to say. At these job fairs the reps from the companies see hundreds of students so you might not get more than a couple of minutes.

post #9 of 11

change "went to" to "attend"

 

kthx,

Sam

post #10 of 11

I attended one right before I graduated college many moons ago (aka nine years ago) as a learning experience.  Got a chance to speak to a lot of recruiters and submit resumes to a lot of people in one place.  They're usually useful, as long as the companies attending are of interest to you. 

post #11 of 11

As a seasoned professional, I've attended many job fairs before.  None of them really benefited me directly - however, the professional experience of "face time" with a recruiter can be a priceless experience.  If nothing, just go for the experience - the advice given above by others also applies, too.

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