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When you are looking for job fair info, keep in mind that there is a distinct difference between job and career fairs.
At the first, you'll find employers who are looking to hire new staff. At the latter, you'll typically find career counselors and representatives from schools who will provide you with information about career management resources and further education and training options.
If you're heading out to a job fair, here are a few tips to help make your day a success:
Research ahead of time to ensure there will be employers of interest to you. Organizers will normally post a list of employers on their website, check that list a few days before the event.
Target your top employers. Make a list of your top employers who will be attending, so you can meet with them first.
Dress comfortably but also professionally. If you do a little bit of people watching at an event like this, you'll be amazed at the number of people who attend dressed in a ways that are just too casual to make a great first impression on a prospective employer.
Bring plenty of resumes.
It's not necessary to bring cover letters to job fairs, but you can prepare targeted cover letters for a few of your top employers.
During the Event
Go early in the morning when employers are most fresh. It will be easier for you to make a great first impression on employers when you speak with them early in the day. At end of the day employers are often exhausted from meeting hundreds of people, and they have a harder time focusing on you.
Another reason to go early in the morning: Sometimes employers leave job fairs early. If you wait until the end of the day, your favorite employer could be gone.
Clear you calendar for the day. Be prepared to be there for a while and to stand in line.
Know that employers are sorting resumes and making decisions about your suitability in the first seconds that they meet you.
Be ready to make a good impression quickly. Have a two to three sentence summary of your most marketable skills in mind so you can quickly highlight why you'd be a great fit at a company.
Collect business cards from every employer you meet; it will help you to keep track of everyone you speak with throughout the day.
If you've had an interesting conversation with an employer, after you leave their booth, take a minute to write some quick notes on the back of their business card to remind yourself about the details of the conversation.
After - Follow Up
It's a great idea to follow up with employers after a job fair.
If you collected employers' business cards at the event, you will have all of the contact information you need to do a follow up.
If you've noted on the back of the card any interesting conversations you had with an employer, you can use that to jog the employer's memory about who you are when you follow up. For example, when you call, you may something like: "John Anybody calling. We met at the fair last week, and we were talking about..." Many people are better at remembering a story or conversation than a name, so this technique is a great way to help employers to picture and remember you when you make a follow up call.
With a little planning, preparation and some simple job fair info and tips, you can avoid the overwhelming feeling so many people get at these events. Do your homework, be prepared to use this job fair info and make a great first impression.