Monthly Archives: January 2009

Making the Most of a Job Fair – Part 3

Following Up After You Leave

Now that the job fair is over, you have one more important step. You must now follow up with all the contacts you made. Remember the business cards you received from each employer? It’s time to put them to good use. Write a thank-you note or send a thank-you card and express your appreciation to each person you met with. Include your contact information in case they want to meet with you. Most job seekers skip this important step. So, set yourself apart, and put in the extra effort by sending an appreciation card. This will help keep you top of mind when it comes time for the employers to start scheduling interviews.

Attending a job fair is beneficial to your job search in many ways. If you properly prepare yourself and make the most out of it, you may just get the results you’re looking for – a job interview!

Making the Most of a Job Fair – Part 2

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.

Making the Most of a Job Fair – Part 1

With an economy that has seen better days and an unemployment rate that continues to rise, there has been a spotlight on career fairs to help job seekers find work.

Typically, you can get more information by attending a job fair than you can from surfing the Internet or making cold calls on your own. Job fairs offer a chance to meet a variety of potential employers in a single day and an opportunity to talk to them face-to-face.

To make the most of a job fair, you need to prepare before you go, have an objective while you’re there and follow up when you leave. To help you succeed, check out the first part of this three-part series on how to get the most out of a job fair.

What You Need to Do Before You Go

Know the participants. First, find out who all the participating employers are. You can find a list of attendees in your local paper in the classified job section or business section, or call the host of the fair. You can visit a job fair’s website or the host’s website for more details.

Decide who to talk to. Next, compile a list of potential employers you would like to talk to. Then, research the company. Find out all the information you would need as if you were heading off to your first interview. Then you’ll be able to talk to potential employers about your qualifications and what you can offer their company.

Prepare a résumé, cover letter, and short pitch. Finally, update your résumé, print several copies, and take them with you. Write a different cover letter for each employer you want to specifically target and tailor it to that company. Also, have an “elevator” speech prepared for when you meet a potential employer. This is a 30-90 second self introduction that highlights who you are and what you can offer to the company.

Dress the part. Now that you have prepared yourself for the job fair, pick out and press your business attire to ensure that you look your best for your first impression to potential employers.

Learn what to do at a job fair in part 2 of this series.

A New Year, a New Job Market?

This time last year, we were talking about whether or not the economy was headed for a recession. Turns out, experts decided at the beginning of December 2008 that the economy had, in fact, already entered a recession in December 2007.

We asked our readers early last year to tell us their take on the job market. This year, we’re wondering the same thing. What do you think?

Are there more  or fewer jobs available where you live and work than this time last year? Let us know by voting in the poll below.

Have a story about the job market in your area or a question you’d like to ask? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Staying Awake in the Workplace: Tips to Help Your Productivity When You’re Tired at Work

Awake At WorkStaying awake and alert at work not only helps with your productivity, but of course keeps your professional image intact. The simplest way to maintain consciousness is to do your work. But, that can be easier said than done if you’ve lost sleep due to a crying baby, family emergency, illness, stress, or other circumstances.

Here are a few tidbits to keep your brain alert so you can successfully make it through the workday after a long night.

Get some sunlight. Your body’s internal clock is regulated by exposure to ample light. If you don’t work near windows, surround yourself with bright lights – like an extra lamp – to stay more alert. Take your lunch break outside, or even just breaks outside when weather permits.

Don’t get too full. Avoid a heavy lunch and a full stomach. A big meal can induce a sleep spell that is hard to overcome. Instead, snack on healthy foods with plenty of protein to give you a boost of energy that will help you get through the day. Avoid snacks that are high in sugar because they can only keep you energized for about half an hour. The empty calories will cause your body to crash halfway through your workday, and falling asleep will be harder to fight off given that you’re already tired. Stick to snacks such as apples, sunflower seeds, whole wheat crackers, raisins, cheese, and nuts.

Get up and exercise. It is recommended that you get up and stretch for every hour that you sit at your desk. Being physical can perk you up and get blood flowing to your extremities, – helping invigorate you at the same time. If you’re able to, take a quick walk outside. The natural environment can awaken your senses, as well as get you that much needed sunlight. Check this past blog for other ideas to stay active at the workplace.

Limit the caffeine. Caffeine can go a long way if you consume it correctly. Spread it out slowly throughout the day to avoid any counterproductive side effects. A cup of coffee or tea can help energize you, but limit yourself to four to eight cups (300 mg of caffeine a day) or you will feel the inevitable crash.

If you feel your eyes glazing over, remember these quick tips to help you make it through the day. However, keep in mind you can have all the tips and tricks to stay awake, but nothing beats a good night’s rest.