A job fair is a great way for an employer with multiple job openings to meet several prospective employees at once.
So how can a job seeker stand out in the crowd? Workforce consultants from Idaho Department of Labor offices in Boise and Meridian have these tips to share.
How should a job seeker prepare for a job fair?
- Research the companies that are participating. Learn more about their business and job openings and be prepared to answer any questions that may come up at the fair.
- Practice a 15-second personal commercial including your name, your profession, occupation or the job you are seeking, your experience and a unique selling point (what sets you apart).
- Arrange for childcare. You will be meeting employers and they will want to talk with you without any distractions.
How should a job seeker dress for a job fair?
First impressions leave lasting impressions. Dress for success and as if you are going to an interview. This includes making sure your shoes are shined and your clothes are pressed and unwrinkled.
What should a job seeker bring to a job fair?
Bring copies of your resume, as well as any information necessary for filling out an application. Bring a notebook and pen to take notes to review later. If you have them, bring business cards. You can also create business cards with your contact information for free at places such as vistaprint.com
What kind of questions should a job seeker expect to be asked?
- Tell me what jobs you are interested in, why and what skills and experience you have to offer each position.
- What do you know about our company?
- What have you learned from your trade/occupation/profession?
- How much experience do you have related to this industry and how did you gain the experience?
- What do you like most about what you do?
- What is your availability?
- Do you have a resume or a business card?
What kind of questions should a job seeker ask the employer?
The job seeker should ask questions about the work environment and about any specific skills that are required for the position. Some examples:
- What is the profile of a successful candidate, or valued employee in this position at your company?
- What challenges is the company facing, and what needs are not being fulfilled?
- What positions do you have available, and what is the preferred method for applying?
- What is the best way to get the attention of the hiring manager or recruiter to gain an interview?
- When are you looking to fill the positions you have open?
Do you have any other tips for job seekers about job fairs?
Go early, have a smile on your face and show interest in the company. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t land a job. Your goals are to make new contacts that may be helpful in the future and practice how to interact with potential employers.
Be prepared to answer questions. Think about what questions to expect and know how you want to respond. Ask for business cards – it will show interest and gives you contact information for following up in the future.
Many businesses hold job fairs at the local Idaho Department of Labor offices around the state. Visit the department’s events calendar to find job fairs in your area. The department also offers workshops to help with job searches such as resume writing and mock interviews and you can meet one-on-one with a workforce consultant. Find one in your area.