Still looking for a job? You are not alone. With the national unemployment rate “stuck” at 8.8%, many who are still unemployed or underemployed still struggle to find employment. A number of companies appear to be stepping up their hiring, yet there are still too many qualified candidates, for too few jobs.
There are a number of job fairs and career seminars being held that you don’t want to miss. I spoke at one a few weeks ago, where some of the most coveted companies were present and actively seeking to hire. They were looking to meet potential employees for their company.
That’s the good news! The bad news is that there were hundreds of job seekers all vying for time in front of these firms, making it difficult to present themselves to the company recruiters.
Here are some useful tips on how to get the results wanted when attending job fairs:
Research the companies represented at the job fair before you arrive! Check out their web-site to see what open positions the company has, so you are prepared when you meet the company recruiter. Target 5-6 companies that you have the most interest in working and focus on meeting them. Don’t waste your time talking to companies you have no interest in workin
Arrive early! Not too early, but at least thirty minutes before the program begins. You want to be one of the first in the room to assure you are getting in front of your target companies. The recruiter will have more time to spend with you before it gets too crowded. Carry your calling cards with you and pass out.
Make sure your current resume reflects who you are by outlining your set of skills and expertise. Double check for any typo’s or dialog that isn’t pertinent. Focus on your summary of experience that should be listed first on the top of your resume. This should be a 4-5 sentences re-cap of who you are. Don’t leave off dates on education and time spent at a company. Be prepared to explain why you left a company. Be ready to articulate what you are seeking in a job and why you want to work for a specific company.
Introduce yourself to the speakers at the event. They can be surprisingly accessible and most willing to spend a few moments with you. When I spoke at my last job seminar, a job seeker introduced herself to me before I was scheduled to speak. She handed me her resume and asked what I thought of it. I quickly gave her some pointers on how to better package her skills. The advice I gave her was valuable and FREE! Speakers are committed to helping job seekers, so seek them out.
Follow up within 24-hours with everyone you made contact with at the career event. E-mail is the quickest, but hand-written notes are always a nice touch. Keep your correspondence short and to the point.
Don’t carry your “baggage” with you; leave it at home. No one cares about your financial woes or personal problems. They just want to find the “right” candidate for their company and find new talent. Make sure that talent is YOU! Check out www.nationaljobfairs.com/ for listings of job fairs in your area.