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Job fairs give you access to companies that you may not be able to access any other way. They also give you the ability to talk to multiple companies all at the same time. By speaking to an actual representative of a business, you may get a glimpse into the company’s culture to see if it would be a good fit for you. Companies attending fairs are interested in hiring you. They are looking for the best candidates. Make yourself one of them by following these tips:
• Arrive at the beginning of the career fair. Recruiters and job seekers alike will be more energized earlier than later in the event. Be fresh and alert.
• It is a good idea to review who is attending the career fair and what types of job opportunities/internships are available. Approaching a company table with some background will give you a leg up. You should have at least visited the company’s website and reviewed the “about us” section. It shows that you are prepared and serious about your future. Don’t waste the recruiter’s time.
• You are making a first impression so be mindful of your dress. At the least, make sure to have on business casual. What does business causal mean? For men: dress slacks or chinos and a pressed button-down shirt, tucked in with a belt. Short-sleeve polo shirts are not a good choice. For women: khakis, black pants and top, cardigans, jackets or dresses. No short dresses.
• Reps at the table may or may not be responsible for hiring. Sometimes the person working a table is a local sales rep and not a hiring manager. That’s OK. Ask what the next step would be to connect to someone with hiring responsibilities at the company. A pen and small notebook for taking notes come in handy to write down names, emails and phone numbers.
• Introduce yourself with a strong and confident handshake. Have your resume on-hand to submit to the company. Be ready to talk about your school experience and/or major, as well as your career intentions. And most importantly, be enthusiastic. Don’t forget to smile.
• There will be opportunity to ask the representative questions at the table. Be armed with at least three questions to ask. You’ve already done your research on the company, so these questions shouldn’t be obvious ones that a simple internet search would have answered for you.
• Take the business card of whomever you talk to at a table and send a quick thank-you note later that day, or the following day. Don’t wait on this. Plus, it is a good habit to get into for when you start interviewing with a company.
Article sponsored by Auto Care Careers.