Generate Job Opportunities at Career Fairs (Part 2 of 2)

Once you arrive at a Career Fair keep in mind that your goal is to meet, mingle and be with people. Since you’ve done your research and have chosen a career fair with employers, industries and perhaps speakers or workshop that you can learn from you can now relax and focus.

I recommend you arrive on time or early to survey the location, and get an overview of the layout and who is where. It’s important to create a pace and flow for yourself so that you stay energized and engaged throughout the event. As you are there I suggest you make a goal of making at least two meaningful interactions and exchanges of information that will move your career forward. Take the time to strategize ahead of time and plan what type of career advise would be helpful. Stay engaged in the process of networking by being clear and focused. You never know who will be there or who knows who. Your job is to uncover and be gracious and generous in your interactions.

Plan to come prepared with your business or calling cards, your resume and note pad to take notes. Being prepared and organized allows you to focus on the other person and to make a concrete and meaningful exchange. Prepare ahead of time your, 30-section introduction statement (more on this next week) and what you are specifically looking for or career job opening. The more specific and focused that you are the more likely you are to be assisted.

Imagine the career fair being a place to do career development and find job openings. Take time during the event to ask questions regarding your career direction engage with people as if you are doing an informational interview and be of service as a way to build rapport and your job search team.

Being prepared and willing to learn gives you an insider’s edge and a leg up on your colleagues who are also looking at the same types of jobs as you are. The more you understand who is being represented and the type of skills and jobs available the more likely you are to meet with success.

I recommend you visit each row and isle and engage with everyone, not just the recruiters at the tables. Sometimes people will hear about a position that isn’t a good fit for them but is perfect for you. Be prepared to pause and engage with folks who have something to offer you that will assist you with your career development. Most importantly offer to be of service to another by giving a name, a web site, or a tip you learned. People appreciate timely information and valuable information.

Remember that the Career Fair is not over when you leave. 90% of the job openings are found in the follow up. Keep an accurate record of who you met and what you promised to provide and them with you. Be specific in your follow up and do it within 24-48 hours. The speed in which you respond can work with you or against you. Be the one who inspires and impresses others. Handwritten note cards, timely connection and engagement for success is what people are looking for.

What tips and techniques do you find helpful in your career fair visits? Let’s generate a list of tips for all readers to enjoy and build from.