Planning A Strategy Helps Job Seekers with Success at Hiring Fairs

Laurie Nowland, human resource representative for Kootenai Health discussed the company's hiring process with job seeker Rachael Veddar.

Laurie Nowland, human resource representative for Kootenai Health discussed the company’s hiring process with job seeker Rachael Veddar.

Rachel Vedder spent the morning of a recent job fair choosing conservative business attire, collecting multiple copies of her resume and preparing for the hiring event at the Idaho Department of Labor office in Kootenai County.

By checking the local events calendar on the Department of Labor website, Vedder was able to preview the list of employers who were attending the event. This gave her the opportunity to do some research in advance. Information about a company and the job listings also can be found at the company website. Checking business publications, chamber websites and news articles gave her a firm knowledge of the employer and the industry.

Vedder didn’t waste time with companies that didn’t interest her. A good strategy is to survey the layout of the job fair and then meet with the top choices first. A hiring event is a networking opportunity to meet with the hiring authority. Remember the three keys to a positive impression: make eye contact, offer a firm handshake and show enthusiasm.

You may only have 2-5 minutes to market yourself so it’s a good idea to develop a 30-second ‘commercial’ that tells the employer what you are looking for and highlight your key benefits that you can offer the organization.

Vedder said, “It was great meeting with Laurie (Nowland, human resource representative for Kootenai Health). I’m really excited to hear about all of the opportunities (Kootenai Health) has available.” Vedder recently completed her medical training and received her certification to be a medical assistant. She was able to utilize the support of the WIOA program (Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act) to assist her in obtaining the required training to be a medical assistant.

Medical assistant is an in-demand position and many employers are hiring. Vedder was offered, accepted and started her new career with Advanced Dermatology in Coeur d’Alene as a certified medical assistant.

Many job seekers go to job fairs unprepared. You can get a jump on the competition with advance preparation and a strategy for success.

— Vicki Kunz, Kootenai County local office workforce consultant,