A job fair is a networking event designed to bring employers and job seekers together. Most of the time it’s extremely difficult to get a face-to-face interview with an employer. Having a pre-planned, productive visit to a job fair is the next best thing to getting an interview.
A successful job fair experience for a job applicant should accomplish several things:
- Enable you to meet in person with an employer, a recruiter, or a company’s Human Resources hiring manager so that you can start to make a positive impression.
- Provide opportunities for you to show your interest in (and ask for a job from), specific employers.
- Begin your efforts to sell yourself for a job with your resume, application, “elevator pitch” and professional image.
- Help you gain the necessary contact information (web site addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses) so that you can begin your online application, submit your resume in-person or online, and follow-up with the employer to obtain an interview in the future.
Things to Do to Plan for Your Job Fair Experience
Determine the employers at the job fair that you want to visit
www.amarillojobfair.org will have a regularly updated employer list approximately two weeks before the day of the event.
Visit company web sites
Before the job fair, search for employers where you’d like to work and look for job openings at their web sites and apply for them.
Update your resume for the job fair
Make sure that your information is current; remember that the information in your resume must prove that you should be hired for the job(s) that you want.
Create a master application or a list of information you’ll need to complete applications in case you don’t have a resume
Create and rehearse a 30-second “elevator pitch”
This is a short speech you’ll say to employers to briefly show what’s in your background that will make you the best candidate for a job (you’ll also need to ask for an interview and provide your contact information when you speak with employers).
If necessary, bring any work samples that prove you’re the best at what you do
Bring several copies of your resume(s), letters of recommendation, and current list of references
Dress for the kind of job and work environment that you’re seeking
Don’t be overdressed or underdressed.
Practice for common interview questions
You can provide evidence of your success – sometimes people are interviewed (and get job offers) at a job fair.
Don’t ask employers at a job fair about salary or benefits
If you have a few questions to ask, write down a short list and bring it with you
Send a thank-you
Send a note or email to the person you spoke with at the job fair thanking them, and ask for an interview again.
For more details, attend our job fair workshop.