If you followed the tips in part 1 of this series, you’ve got your list of prospects, an up-to-date résumé, a tailored cover letter, an elevator speech, and your interview attire. Now you’re ready to tackle the job fair.
What to Do While You’re There
Map it out. To better utilize your time and make sure you meet all the prospective employers on your list and increase your chances of landing an interview, first find out where each employer is located. Map out your day so you’re not running back and forth between booths to meet people. Some job fairs have maps showing the location of each employer’s booth, so make sure you pick up one when you arrive.
Limit your time. Once you figure your agenda, plan to spend only five to 10 minutes with each employer. You want to spend enough time to make an impact and create a good first impression, but you don’t want to spend so much time that you wear out your welcome. Remember, you’re not the only one there looking for a job. If you extend your stay, you could be viewed as annoying or desperate and diminish your chances of receiving an interview. So, get in, make a good impression, get out, and move on to the next employer. Before you leave, remember to thank your new contact for their time and ask for a business card. If you have a business card of your own, ask if you can leave one with your résumé.
If you mapped out your day correctly, you’ll probably have time to meet with employers that didn’t make the first cut on your agenda. If you have time, it’s a good idea to take this opportunity to learn more about other companies. They just might have the job you’ve been looking for.
The tough part is over, but you’re not quite done. After you meet with so many employers, learn how to follow up after attending a job fair in our next post.