Four former college and university recruiters launched CF+ in 2012 based on the shared certainty they could enhance employer and job seeker interactions during in-person recruiting events with proprietary technology.
More than nine years later, millions of applicants have connected with tens of thousands of employers during dozens of different types of recruiting programs.
Before the unanticipated and abrupt shift to online recruiting in 2020, career fairs welcomed employers and candidates ready to shake hands and share basic information face-to-face. But after more than a year of virtual recruiting, attendees want event hosts to include tech-driven features such as previewing resumes, exploring company profiles, and scheduling meetings as they resume offering on-site recruiting programs.
You’re probably familiar with these--and other--online tools, but depending on when you started your job search, in-person recruiting might be a new experience. This article asks and answers five questions about career fairs:
Keep reading to learn how to use recruiting events to your advantage.
Companies, universities, and organizations host in-person and virtual recruiting events to create employer-candidate connections. The difference is obvious: people gather in one physical location for on-site programs compared to meeting online during virtual events.
Hybrid career fairs and other recruiting events blend the benefits of virtual and in-person events into one safe, personal, and cost-effective recruiting experience. Career Fair Plus organizes three different hybrid formats:
So, the fundamental difference between in-person, virtual, and hybrid recruiting events is the where or how you engage with employers. It's also helpful to understand the differences between career fairs, hiring events, and other types of recruiting programs you might attend during your job search.
Career fairs and hiring events are two of the most well-known programs, each with different goals. Job seekers attend career fairs for the chance to talk with employers, learn about future opportunities, and attend webinars or seminars related to different career paths. However, a hiring fair means employers extend job offers during the event or very soon after.
And because not all job seekers are college students, there are various programs connecting them to potential employers, too.
There are multiple advantages of participating in recruiting events, some you’ll notice immediately, and others you’ll realize over time. Here are some of our favorite reasons for job seekers to attend organized recruiting programs:
OK, we asked it but you’re probably thinking it. You’ll be familiar with some of these suggestions, and others might take a little extra strategizing:
All your hard work and practice answering questions paid off. Way to go! Time to shift mental gears from maximizing recruiting events to rocking the interview. But, good news! It’s a faster, easier shift than you might think.
Review and refresh your resume again, especially if you can add new experiences since the recruiting event where you first met company representatives. Similarly, take another look at your elevator pitch and personal story. Do you want, or need, to change anything? Again, now’s the perfect time to revise.
Call a friend or clean off a mirror but get ready to share your career highlights and elevator pitch again. If someone’s helping you rehearse, ask them about your eye contact, facial expressions, and overall body language. Do you appear welcoming and confident, or are you looking around the room while you talk?
It’s interview time! Trust your knowledge, passion for the work, and all that practice to share why you’re their best choice. Confidently and directly answer their questions, then ask two or three of your own. Be polite (seems obvious, but it’s easy to forget “please” and “thank you” in new situations), be honest, and remember the correct spelling and job title of your interviewer(s) for the next step.
Send a hand-written thank you note to each interviewer and, if possible, the HR person who organized the day. Compose the note yourself or personalize a sample you find online. Because many people decide this step is old-fashioned, the candidates who make an effort can truly stand out.
Interviewing is stressful, but preparation and the right support can decrease anxiety and increase your chances of success. Check out the CF+ article, Be Prepared: Behavioral Questions, for more tips and encouragement!