Career fairs are like “one stop shops” at the mall. Attending one of them will give you the opportunity to see the current openings on the market and meet with many company representatives face-to-face.
Job Fair photo from ShutterstockA career fair is a job fair. It’s a fair for employers to meet and identify potential job seekers. In this case, you are the potential job seekers. At a job fair, there are many different types of employers looking to hire for many different positions. Therefore, I always recommend that job seekers study what companies are coming to the job fair and what positions they are hiring for so you don’t waste your time in the fair trying to identify which companies to talk with. If you come to the job fair prepared, you can directly go to the booths of the employers that you are interested in and meet with them face-to-face and describe your interest in the companies and the positions they are hiring for.
If you are an active job seeker, attending a career fair has many advantages. The biggest one among all is that you can show your personal brand directly given that you are meeting with company representatives face-to-face. Also, there are companies from many different industries at career fairs so you have the chance of getting inside information from those industries. As a result, maybe you apply for a job in an industry which you never thought of applying. Moreover, career fairs are also good for practicing your interviewing skills. Company representatives may ask you questions right on the spot and expect you to explain your previous experiences or why you are applying for that particular position. Thus, it is better for you to come prepared to answer basic interview questions. Furthermore, you can expand your network as a result of the career fair since you meet with many industry professionals during the event.
After the career fair, some companies want you to apply to their job postings through their career websites. Thus, you should take notes during the fair so you know which companies to follow up on and how. Don’t forget to collect the business cards of the people you gave your resume. If they run out of their business cards, then ask for their email addresses so you can send thank you emails as a follow-up and remind yourself. This is also a good method of showing that you are still interested in the position.
Ceren Cubukcu is a top 5 bestselling author of Make Your American Dream A Reality: How to Find a Job as an International Student in the United States. She recently founded her consulting business to help more international students find jobs in the US in addition to her self-service digital event ticketing platform, Etkinlik Fabrikam (My Event Factory), to be able to offer her webinars in her home country.
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