Simply put, a recruiting fair is an event where employers and recruiters get a chance to meet with and give information to students and other potential employees. Recruiting fairs can go by many different names including job fairs, and career fairs.
Recruiting fairs can be run be schools, employers, and community organizations. They are usually held in large public venues, such as auditoriums, sports buildings, and hotel meeting rooms. Some fairs are open to the public while others are only open to certain attendees like university students and/or military veterans.
What Can You Expect at Recruiting Fairs?
For job searchers, a career/recruiting fair can be the perfect place for catching the attention of potential employers. Being prepared for the fair is critical if you want success. Here is a bit of what you can expect during recruiting fairs.
The fair itself may involve rows of individual booths, each assigned to a particular employer. As a fair attendee, you will receive a map of the fair so you can find particular employers. There may also be information booths for graduate schools, military recruiters, and other organizations of interest that are not directly related to one employer.
Making the Most of a Recruiting Fair
Most people who attend a career fair are looking for a job. That means they want the chance to speak with employers directly, present their resumes, and perhaps land a job interview. Here are some basic guidelines you should follow when attending a fair:
- Do research on employers at the fair, before you go inside. You need to know which companies are at the top of your interest list and which ones clearly are not. Know what kind of positions they have available and make your resume emphasizes skills that match the open positions.
- Speaking of resumes... Have copies of your up-to-date resume with you. You will be meeting with more than one recruiter so multiple copies is a must. The resume is what the recruiter is going to take back to the office, so make sure it is professional.
- Wear appropriate clothing. This might sound like a no-brainer but you'd be surprised. You are meeting with potential employers so business dress is essential. Always remember, it is better to be overdressed than under.
- Have a plan of attack. Before you start visiting booths, you should check if any employers registered late. If so, there is a chance that they are not on the radars of many who are attending. With that in mind, you should still plan on hitting your target employers first.
- Be prepared to interview. If you make a positive impression, some employers may want to do an initial interview with you. That means you need to walk in ready to sit down and sell yourself one on one.
- Use it as an opportunity to network. A secondary reason for attending a recruiting fair is to network with other attendees, recruiters, and employment agencies. You can gain valuable contacts that may even lead to potential job leads.
Make the most of the time you spend at a job fair. Look for seminars on resume writing, interview skills, and other areas of personal interest to you. Often times you will hear people suggest sending thank you notes to any recruiter that you spoke with, we will leave that one up to you.
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