Have an Awesome Job Fair: Tips to help you land your next opportunity
You’ve made the decision to attend a job fair. Great move! We have some simple tips for you to enjoy the most successful job fair experience.
Stand out like a pro
Introduce yourself to target employers, but don’t forget to explore. There may be great options that you haven’t considered. Here are some ways to make a terrific first impression:
- Develop an introductory statement. Share who you are and what you’re looking for, but keep it short – under 25 words is best.
- Be authentic. Interviewers can tell when you’re speaking from your heart.
- Be neither too broad or too specific. Let employers know what you’re interested in, but leave some margin for jobs and careers that are not exactly in your target area.
- Be passionate. “Kind of interested” doesn’t impress.
- End on a strong note. Wrap up your conversation with an ask, such as a request for an informational interview. Remind the interviewer of your name and indicate that you’ll follow up with an email.
- Dress professionally. Whether it’s wearing a suit or business casual, research the companies ahead of time to understand their dress code and culture.
- Bring copies of your resume. Make sure all your information and experience is up-to-date.
Conquer nervousness by being prepared
One of the best ways to overcome your nerves is to be well prepared and focus on keeping your interactions conversational. This is your opportunity to show the company representative your true professional self. Here are some common interview questions and things to think about in your answer:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Give a brief background about yourself and then describe how your interests and abilities relate to the company or position. You can also ask if your interests and abilities fit with what the company is looking for.
- Example: I’m Pam. I teach skills that last a lifetime. After I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth, I took a teaching position in the Richmond schools. I enjoyed helping students achieve what they didn’t think they could. That is what led me to Fundamentum. Does my experience align well with the position?
- What do you want out of this job?
- Interviewers often prefer people who are aspirational. Answer this question with not only what you want to get out of the job in the near term, but also how it fits in with your future goals and aspirations.
- Example: I like that CardioMed completes all its production in-house. Seeing the process from beginning to end, while helping develop innovative designs, will help me achieve my lifelong goal of working on a more sustainable heart valve.
Ask your own questions
Most people come to a job fair prepared to answer questions, but not necessarily to ask their own. This is your opportunity to learn about the company and position, too. Asking intelligent questions is an important way to determine if the company is a good fit and to stand out as an engaged candidate.
- Demonstrate your interest with questions that probe specific aspects of the position or company. This is where your passion and enthusiasm come in. It’s a tactful way to demonstrate your interest in the position, and it also shows that you did your homework.
- Find out if the company culture and career opportunities suit you. More than 70% of high retention risk employees are willing to leave their employer because of lack of career development opportunities. You want to make absolutely sure this role and company will help you excel.