But with some preparation and patience, career fairs can be an excellent way to make a positive impression on potential employers.
|Career fairs are great for job-seekers. But first know what career you're best suited for!|
1. Research Employers Ahead of Time
Most career fairs list attending businesses and organizations, and they may even give you a preliminary look at what they're looking for.
If it's a big career fair and you’re worried you won’t have time to talk to everyone, make a list of the companies you’re most interested in. Do your research: go to their websites before you attend the fair. You don't want to ask obvious questions that are easily answered on the company's website.
2. Bring Your Resume
Bring plenty of copies of your resume. Even if you’ve already submitted your resume or CV online, it's always a good idea to bring paper copies to the career fair.
Remember to tailor your resume to every job. That could easily mean that you have several different versions of your resume. Take some time, research the company and rewrite your resume so it sounds like you're the perfect candidate for the particular job they're hiring for.
3. Think of It as an Interview
Dress professionally, make eye contact, answer questions thoughtfully and ask appropriate and engaging questions -- the more specific, the better. You generally want to act as though you're being evaluated for a job by every person you meet.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Network
In addition to talking with company representatives, you can also network with other job seekers. Making connections and growing your network will always pay off in the long run. Bring plenty of business cards with you. Never let a one-track mind blind you to all of the networking possibilities inherent during a career fair.
Spring is a perfect time for career renewal, and lots of job fairs will be popping up. Take advantage and attend as many as you can.
And if you’re still at a loss at how to answer the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?,” take the 15-minute MAPP career test to learn your career personality, ideal career areas and get matched the right job for you this spring.