Success at a Job Fair
A great way to develop your job network is to attend a job fair and learn more about opportunities that are available. The Career Center at CSUF takes an active role in bringing the best and most sought after employers to campus to provide exposure and job opportunities for you. Make sure you are ready to make your best impression at both the fall and spring the job fairs.
1. Polish Your Résumé
The most important part of attending a job fair is to have an effective marketing tool for yourself your résumé. A few weeks before the fair bring an updated résumé to the Career Center to have a counselor review it and make any final suggestions. Your résumé should be one page, error free, attractive, and market your skills effectively. Bring 20 or more copies of your résumé to offer to employers.
2. Research Employers
A couple of weeks before the job fair view the list of employers who will be attending and select 5-10 employers in which you are interested. Research those employers by visiting their website and view available employment opportunities. Know basic information about the company and be prepared to explain to an employer the type of job you are looking for. On the day of the job fair, approach your selected employers first, and if time permits, visit other employers.
3. Dress To Impress
You have one opportunity to make a first and lasting impression. If you do not yet have an interview suit, plan to purchase one and a good pair of shoes. Recruiters are trained to see the details! They will notice you took the time to dress for the event and will see you as a potential employee. Stand out from the crowd by having a leather portfolio for your résumés, bring a nice pen, and your best attitude.
4. Be Ready To Sell Yourself
There are typical questions that recruiters will ask when you first meet them such as, "What kind of job are you looking for?" and "What do you know about our company/organization?" Take advantage of services offered by the Career Center to help you prepare. Days before the job fair prepare your responses to these and similar questions so that you communicate that you are interested and well informed. Nothing drives a recruiter away like a bad response to an initial question such as "I dunno, what kinda jobs do you have?" or "What does your company do?" Keep in mind that employers in a sluggish job market want to know what you can do for them. Develop a brief 60 second introduction of your qualifications. This will be your "elevator pitch" promoting your strengths as a candidate.
5. Arrive Alone
A job fair is an opportunity to network and acquaint yourself with employers; it can be intimidating and the desire to have a friend close by can be tempting, but you will be more successful, confident, and focused if you approach recruiters independently. If you have children, be sure to arrange for child care for the day to minimize distraction and keep your focus on meeting employers.
6. Arrive Early
Recruiters at a job fair are freshest and most attentive at the beginning of the day, before the weather and crowds wear them down.
Be sure to get a business card and contact information from the companies in which you are most interested. This will allow you to keep in touch with recruiters after the job fair. Take the time to send a quick email or call them no later than the day after the event, let them know you enjoyed meeting them, state what opportunities you are interested in, and thank them for their time.
8. Talk To as Many Employers as Possible
You never know where your best job offers are going to come from. Be open to learning about new companies and opportunities.