Finding the Best Job Opportunities: Career Fairs

There are many job opportunities around but we don’t always know about them because of lack of access. Researching and attending a career fair will give you time to plug in and get informed in a shorter amount of time than doing it separately for each industry or company. Let me share some on how to get the very most out of a career fair.

The first step is to research and find career fairs that have the theme, specific companies, and geographic location that you desire. Be specific and targeted to make the most of your travel and on site time. By checking out the internet and placing “your town” career fair and pushing the search button you’ll be surprised by the number and variety of them. Take the time to sort through and identify the next 2-3 you plan to attend.

There are three types of career fairs that assist you in finding job opportunities. The first is sponsored by Universities, these are usually taking place twice per year or once a semester, check out the career center’s web site and better yet get added to the Alumni newsletter or campus wide email list. You will then be notified ahead of time. The second type of fair is put on my specific companies. These are tailored towards a specific industry or company needs. These are helpful if you have a goal in that direction. The third are sponsored by private enterprise or career centers. Career fairs for job opportunities can be coordinated by elected officials, Job centers (private or government funded), for profit businesses such as banks, and collaborative groups that are wanting to attract customers.

Each career fair will have it’s own focus and agenda based on who is sponsoring it and how they are evaluated for effectiveness. Do your best to find ones that are motivated by getting candidates employed in paid position and their funding is dependent on that. This provides a more solid foundation to build from and more possibility for current, open paid positions.

Before arriving check the web site and find out exactly what you can expect. It’s important to notice if they will have resume clinics, speakers, workshops, and specific employers. You wan to use your time wisely by being prepared and ready to go. Better yet take time to research the company on Justmeans and other sites to understand their philosophy and vision. Additionally, you may want to Google them and check in your LinkedIn profile or Face book to find out who you know who are associated with that company and may even be attending.

Plan to attend with an end in mind. Not only do you want to find paid employment you may also be curious about floating an idea by someone in your field, or finding someone to do an informational interview with, to attract a mentor, identify internship opportunities or build your network in general. Keep an open mind and plan for three to four solid outcomes not just one.

Career fairs assist you with gathering career information and doing career planning. You make the most of your time by being prepared.

In our blog later this week we’ll talk about how to produce results on site at the career fair. Stay tuned.

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