by Kathy Sweeney, NCRW, CPRW, CEIC, CCM
Many companies are turning
to alternative methods to hire employees in addition to the
traditional newspaper ads. Career Fairs are becoming increasingly
popular in major cities around the country. Most are either
sponsored by companies that specialize in Career Fairs or
by schools and universities. It serves as a way for employers
to get a first hand look at the "local talent" for hire.
The fairs are usually advertised
in the Sunday Employment section of your local newspaper that
has a large readership. The companies who participate usually
have openings they are ready to fill right away.
Following are some tips
on Career Fair Etiquette and Company Research to ensure your
- Do your research on the
companies before the career fair comes to town. Most of
the newspaper advertisements will list the employers who
will participate to draw a larger, more qualified applicant
base. Your local library will have a host of information
on companies either through periodicals or annual reports
for publicly held companies. This rule applies even if you
are interviewing for any company.
- Ensure you have plenty
of copies of your resume for the employers at the Job Fair.
If you need more copies, leave and have more printed.
- When approaching the
company booth, some employers will have information that
is posted about the positions for which they are hiring.
If there are no descriptions quickly ask the individual
if they have positions in your field of expertise. Make
sure you have the qualifications they are looking for. If
you do not, go on to the next booth.
- If you have the qualifications,
then, on the back of your resume, list the positions you
are interested in. This way the employer will know what
position to call you for when they begin searching through
the resumes they have received.
- After you have written
the job title on the back of your resume, introduce yourself
to the person managing the booth, shake their hand, and
present your resume to them.
- If they have information
that is specific to their company, ask for a copy. If you
are not interested, try not to take copies of information.
It is very expensive for companies to hand out brochures
they may have spent thousands of dollars to produce.
- Ask for a business card
of the person managing the booth. On the back of the business
card, write down the position you applied for, the date
you attended the job fair, where it was, and anything significant
about the person with whom you spoke. Do not do this in
front of the employer - walk away to a private area.
- Come prepared to interview!
Some companies want to spend the time screening candidates
for second interviews. Dress for success and with questions
about their company from the research you compiled.
- Try to spend no more
than 30-60 seconds with the person managing the booth, as
they have thousands of people they will be meeting that
day. This gives everyone a chance to speak with the potential
employer. Your follow up will dictate the relationship.
Are you prepared for the
Career Fair in your city? Thousands of people will attend.
Ensure that you stand out from the crowd with a professional
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