If you’re searching for a job in your field, plan to participate in career fairs. They help you get maximum return for your time spent on the job search. Instead of typical career-seeking activities such as filling out applications and emailing resumes, career fairs allow you to meet face-to-face with company recruiters. However, you do need to prepare for career fairs in order to make a good impression. Follow the eight tips below, and you’re on your way to connecting with recruiters about the position you desire.
Learn more about NLU’s Educator Job Fair on Tuesday, March 7 from 1 to 4 p.m.
1). Research, Record, and Review
Register for the career fair in advance, and view the companies that will be attending. You can also upload your resume so each employer will have a copy of your resume on file. Research the companies that are attending and read their mission statements, goals and values. Then make a list of the companies that interest you. You can jot down the company name and their mission statement on a piece of paper and review it before the day of the career fair.
2). Search for available positions and tailor your resume
Next, view all the opportunities that are available for each company you are interested in and spend time tailoring your resume for each position. Remember, tailoring your resume is very important and makes your resume appear more marketable. Employers will see your great interest in the position if you take the time to do this. If you need any help with tailoring your resume, seek assistance from NLU’s Career Development Office. Make sure to bring multiple copies of each resume so every employer can have one to skim.
3). Practice your Elevator Pitch
This is a 30-second summary of your qualifications for the position you are applying to. It is very similar to the “Tell me about yourself” question given in an interview. Practice this with a friend, or even in front of a mirror. One way to get started is to make a list of accomplishments or success stories you have had in your work experience and qualifications you have that would allow you to excel in the role you are targeting.
4). Make use of the time given
Plan to spend about 2-3 hours at the career fair and make the most of this time. This gives you enough time to spend speaking with each employer for the positions that interest you. These short interviews can run for 20-30 minutes and you also want to use time to ask any questions you might have about the role or the company.
5). Avoid assuming that employers have your resume
Remember to give your resume to the employer. They will definitely be impressed that you spent the time to tailor it to a position you are interested in. This also shows the employer you are serious about working for their organization. Be prepared to answer specific questions, such as: Why are you interested in this company or position? Being prepared for a job fair shows off your candidacy to best advantage.
6). Dress to Impress
Remember, a job fair is actually the same as going to an interview with an employer, only there are multiple employers interviewing candidates at their tables. Your attire should be professional. Wear a suit and business-like shoes. Pay attention to your grooming, including nicely-styled hair and clean nails. Women should wear minimal makeup and simple jewelry so as not to distract from their qualifications.
7). Be memorable
Once you have left the career fair, don’t let employers forget they spoke with you. At the end of the conversation, don’t leave their table without grabbing a business card from each employer or recruiter you interviewed with so you have all the information you need to create a thank you letter. Tip: Sending a handwritten thank you letter to each person you spoke with will surely separate you from the rest and leave a positive lasting impression.
8). Stay in contact with the employers
It is important to follow up with each employer for the positions you were interviewed for. Following up should be done a week after the interviews took place. The goal is to obtain another opportunity to speak with them further and see what the next steps are with the interviewing process.
Register for NLU’s Educator Job Fair, which will be held March 7 at Lisle campus from 1 to 4 p.m.