Friday, September 10, 2010

The BC Bulletin- Job Fairs 101

Due to an unforeseen problem with the September BC Bulletin webpage, almost the entire issue was deleted. I am re-posting the Job Fairs 101 story on the BC Bulletin Blog.

- BC

Things You Need To Know Before Going To That Job Fair

THE UNEMPLOYMENT LINE: Long lines like this one, outside of a Columbus, Ohio job fair have been not uncommon all over the country, in this economic recession, as there are so many people applying for the very few jobs that were made available at job fairs. (Photo by Bryan Curtiss)
by Bryan Curtiss

They are advertised in the paper- telling you that "you can find work today", but what is it about job fairs that people should know before heading to the actual job fair itself? Welcome, class, to Job Fairs 101.

In this economy, job fairs are becoming more of a regular thing. But, when people pick up the paper and see the ad for the job fair, they don't do all of the prep work that goes along with attending the job fair itself.

Despite being called a job fair, job fairs are not completely about landing the job, they are about networking as well.

According to job company Local Hires, the job fair also gives you the opportunity to network with the recruiters, as job fairs are about making connections with any and everyone, including people in the line with you, because there may be a person in line that may know someone that knows someone that can help you out. Even if you don't find the right job at a table, you could still give the job recruiter/hiring manager your resume and open up the conversation for other opportunities with that company.

The first step is to research all of the companies that will be present at the job fair. Why? You don't want to sound like you don't know anything about the job. You want to impress the hiring managers with your knowledge and expertise.

The second step is to, if you haven't already, to fine-tone your resume. Make sure that you resume is error-free and that it sounds correct.

The third step is to make sure that you are properly dressed for a job fair. Just what is properly dressed for a job fair anyway? Properly dressed is not a t-shirt and jeans. In fact, that is the biggest mistake that most people make at a job fair. This is not a come as you are party. This is an opportunity for you to meet with several employers, and your wardrobe should reflect that.

The fourth step is to go to many of the tables present at the job fair, preferably all of the tables, and ask how you can help them.

At one recent job fair in Columbus, Ohio, the job fair recruiter at the door, who does job fairs like this all across the country told the jobseekers, "When you walk inside those doors, go to every table. There are so many trees of opportunity out there, but there are too many bushes in the way.”

The recruiter added by saying that some people approach a job fair the wrong way. “When some people go to job fairs, and come out, they say, 'Oh, it's a waste of time.' When you take two seconds to look around the room, read the signs, go to a couple of tables, and grab a pen or souvenir, then yeah, it was a sure waste of time. People think that it’s like window shopping. This isn’t the mall.” The recruiter added by saying that people need to go out to job fairs to network, and ask questions. “That’s how it goes.”

Also, do not be afraid to show pride in yourself by promoting you. Don't be afraid to brag about your achievements, in a positive way.

Now that you know what to do at a job fair, the best of luck to you on your job search.

HIRING MANAGERS: They are the make or break of any job search. (Photo by Bryan Curtiss)

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