Your objective when attending job fairs is to introduce yourself to suitable employers. To work each job fair to your advantage, you must prepare. In order to maximize your efforts, research the companies attending, and communicate —on your resume and in your spoken sales pitch — how your skills, experience and education fit well with the company’s needs.
A job fair hosts many employers. Your time must be spent wisely: select the companies for which you are willing to line up. Create a short list of companies that require someone with your skills.
Once you’ve distilled your list to a select few, access information from company websites, local news sources, or industry periodicals. Use the info to prepare insightful questions for the company’s representative.
Each job hunter must learn to brag without bragging. As P.T. Barnum famously said, “Without promotion something terrible happens – nothing.” Can’t argue with that one! At a job fair, career-focused self-promotion can lead to an interview or even a job offer.
There’s an art to self-promotion: it is about taking ownership for your achievements and learning to articulate them. At a job fair self-promotion is distilled, by virtue of a lack of time, into a short and succinct, powerful and persuasive paragraph. “Tell us something about yourself,” is your invitation to sell your relevant skills, experience, and education. Don’t make the mistake of leaving your speech to serendipity; when under pressure we humans tend to stumble and land with a foot in our mouth. You must make your pitch in record time, and make it memorable.
Recruiters have been heard to complain “A resume is supposed to be a ‘best foot forward’; why oh why do we get so many with hodge-podge formatting, spelling errors, grammatical problems? Even the basics are not good, never mind that the content is poor. And that’s supposed to be the candidate’s best foot forward? I’ll skip that one.”
Don’t skip this foundational step: Get serious about resume-writing.
Is it worth putting in this time and effort to prepare? You bet. After all, it’s your career to manage!
– submitted by Stephanie Clark, NewLeafResumes.ca