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Job Fair Know-how: Work It!


Job Fair Know-how: Work It!You’ve researched companies, you’ve prepared a great resume that lists strategic details about your education, experience, character, and skills, and you’ve learned to sell yourself in a practiced pitch.  Now you’re ready to work the job fair.

Clean Up

Get a haircut, practice a firm handshake and a confident smile, and dress professionally. There is no doubt that first impressions count.

Interview The Company

Interview and evaluate the company as their representative evaluates and interviews you. Ask intelligent, customized-to-the-industry questions that demonstrate that you have conducted research, for example: What impact they anticipate from the new contract you read about on the company’s website; How the economy has affected business; What the company is doing to minimize its environmental footprint?

The idea is to evaluate fit. Your success is more likely if employed by a company aligned with your own approach to work/life balance, commitment to environmental issues, corporate culture, and so on. If employed by a company that overly challenges your comfort zone or doesn’t match your ethics, you are highly unlikely to be successful, in any definition of the word.

Be sure to ask for the representative’s card (more on putting that to use in the next article), and jot down a few notes on your conversation.

Sell Yourself

Use your practiced pitch, and share a few success stories. These are examples of how your work impacted a past employer’s bottom line: how you saved time or money, or generated sales by saving accounts, streamlining processes, creating new procedures, seeking additional training, addressing safety issues and decreasing WSIB claims, undertaking cross-training so that your performance flexibly meets the company’s changing needs, creating community partnerships—the list is endless. Employers are seeking three key attributes: leadership, innovation, and relationship skills. Prove these in the context of your success story, and you will stand out, guaranteed.

Hand-picked companies presented with a good resume, a strategically crafted self-promotional introduction, and questioned with well-researched material — these strategies will position you as a stellar prospect.

Employers return year after year, suggesting that this form of recruitment works! From the job hunters’ perspective, job fair line ups can be long, but the reward can be an offer on the spot.

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– submitted by Stephanie Clark, in Kitchener

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