Students: 7 Steps for Making the Most of Job Fairs

MGR Accounting Recruiters in
on Feb 14, 2015. Posted inBlogging In Balance

Frequently I speak with students about career related issues.  At the last couple events, MGR Accounting Recruiters - 7 Steps to Make the Most of Job Fairsthe question of how to get the most out of job fair and employer networking events came up.  These seven tips below will help you to get the most out of the time you invest:

  1. Smile.  It may sound like common sense, but it’s also very common for job seekers to be so focused on making contacts that they forget to look friendly.  Make sure you are smiling.
  2. Ask about the individual.  It helps your situation if you can be genuinely interested in the representative you are speaking with.  If your interaction is more of a conversation than simply dropping off your resume, you will be more memorable and therefore more likely to turn this brief interaction into a job opportunity.
  3. Be real.  You need to conduct yourself as a professional, but letting a little of your personality show can be a good thing too.  The more ‘real’, instead of scripted, that you seem to the employer, the more memorable you will be.
  4. Get their card.  Almost every representative will have a business card – so get it while you have the chance!  It can be difficult to get contact information later on as most companies have trained gatekeepers and policies of how to apply.  This is your easiest chance to get their email address and direct phone number.
  5. Make a note.  If you had even a short conversation with the representative, make a note of what you talked about on the back of their card.  This will help you in your follow-up process later.  Wait until you leave the table though – otherwise it’s a little awkward.  🙂
  6. Follow-up.  Stalking is bad, but professional follow-up at reasonable intervals is good.  In the next few days, follow-up with an electronic version of your resume as well as a brief note about your conversation in order to jog their memory.  This way they not only have your resume on paper, but now they have it electronically as well, which is much easier for them to pass along to other hiring managers.
  7. Realize it’s a job.  The process of securing a good employment opportunity is a job.  It takes work.  You will want to continue to follow-up with these new contacts as you get closer to graduation, and possibly even beyond.  If you handle this well, you may never have to formally look for a job again – people may contact you as they are in the market for new talent.  It’s a nice position to be in!

I hope these steps help you the next time you are attending such an event.  Showing up may be half the battle, but with a little effort you can greatly increase the opportunities that are available to you.

I wish you the best in your search.

Mark Goldman CPA