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  • 4 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Next Job Fair

    03/23/15 10:10 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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    Dreading that job fair?

    We get it. A job fair is uncomfortable, stressful and a lot of hard work. But if you leverage it correctly, a career fair can help you broaden your network and may even lead to job interviews.

    So don’t dread that job fair; embrace it – and prepare to succeed. Before you attend your next job fair, use Exact Staff’s tips to make the most out of it:

    Create a strategy.

    • Research potential employers. Employers are most impressed with candidates who have clearly done their homework. Before the event, spend some time researching target companies, so you can speak intelligently about them at the job fair.
    • Set clear goals. What do you hope to achieve by attending the career fair? Set goals for yourself – whether it’s talking to an HR manager at a target company, learning more about a job function or landing an interview – and use them to guide your activity.
    • Work your way up. Determine which employers you will visit and prioritize them. Plan to approach your top prospects after you’ve had a chance to “warm up” – but before you’re completely drained.

    Assemble your arsenal.

    • Develop multiple versions of your resume. What kind of employers will be at the job fair? What types of positions are you interested in? Consider the scope of target companies and jobs, and develop a few versions of your resume to accommodate the range.
    • Gather supporting documents. Be ready for any situation – including an impromptu job interview – by bringing along: business cards (with links to your professional website and social media profiles); transcripts (for recent graduates); copies of your resume, cover letter, letters of recommendation, and references (provide these only upon request); and work samples, if applicable.
    • Pack a light snack and drink. Job fairs sap you mentally and physically. Bring a small, portable snack (skip the sugar and caffeine) to keep your energy and enthusiasm going.

    Force yourself outside of your comfort zone. Even if you’re a self-proclaimed “social butterfly,” a career fair can be an intimidating experience. To make the most of the event:

    • Expect discomfort. Realize that you’ll be approaching strangers and “in the hot seat.” Prepare yourself for the added stress.
    • Dive in. Once there, don’t just stand in the corner. Remember your goals, and force yourself to start conversations with target employers. To help, plan a few conversation starters so you make a great first impression:
      • “I saw on your company website that your organization recently (insert current company event/accomplishment)…”
      • “What types of positions are you finding the most challenging to fill these days?”
      • “What is your most essential requirement when hiring (insert type of position you want)?”

    Follow up. While at the career fair, gather business cards from hiring managers and ask for the best way to follow up with them. Make a list of promising job contacts and jot down next steps while they’re fresh in your mind. After the fair, send “thank you” notes to key contacts and apply online to relevant jobs.

    Find a job you love through Exact Staff.

    Trust Exact Staff to make your search simpler and more effective. Throughout California – and across the country – our staffing agency has opportunities at every employment level and in a wide variety of fields:

    • Search administrative jobs
    • Search accounting / financial jobs
    • Search legal jobs
    • Search medical/dental jobs
    • Search technical jobs
    • Search sales jobs
    • Search engineering jobs

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