Before, During, and After the Job Fair
Large numbers of people frequently attend job fairs. Expect the surroundings to be noisy and cluttered. This often makes it somewhat difficult to communicate and may increase tension and pressure. Every candidate faces the same environment. If you are prepared, these factors will not limit your success.
To use a job fair most effectively, remember to prepare, communicate and follow up. Use the following resources to assist you in your preparation for your visit to a job fair.
Individuals with special needs are asked to contact Career Development Center at (812) 941-2275 two weeks prior to the event. Every effort will be made to accommodate these needs.
Before the Job Fair
Follow these guidelines when preparing to attend a job fair.
- Look at a list of employers who will be coming to the Job Fair: The list may change frequently a few days prior to the fair.
- Complete background research on employers which interest you.
- Contact employers of special interest with a letter expressing your desire to visit with them at the fair.
- Review recent news articles about employers and the industry in which they work.
- Make a list of questions to ask each employer.
- Dress appropriately for the positions you seek. (It is not unusual for employers to interview candidates "on the spot")
- Bring more resumes than you expect to use. (Perhaps five more than the number of employers)
- Know what career fields interest you and what skills make you an attractive candidate.
- Prepare a one minute commercial about yourself. (Normal conversational speech runs at 90 to 130 words per minute. It may be helpful to write out your commercial and count the words you have used)
- Try to keep the total word count to no more than 150 words. This is your introduction to the employer.
- Be specific. Begin by stating your name, institution (Indiana University Southeast), major and tentative graduation date.
- Ask the employer about his or her available positions.
- Briefly indicate how your work experience and special skills relate to the positions the employer has available.
- Role play with friends to improve your delivery.
- Use inflection and animation and enjoy the conversation.
During the Job Fair
Follow these guidelines during a job fair:
- Arrive early and plan to stay the whole time.
- Expect large numbers of people at the job fair.
- Expect the surroundings to be noisy and cluttered.
- Have a firm handshake and speak clearly and distinctly.
- Introduce yourself and use your one minute commercial.
- Be open, honest, enthusiastic, and assertive.
- Make certain your resume is readily accessible.
- Immediately show that you know something about the organization.
- Ask meaningful questions.
- Express interest in the organization and demonstrate the skills which employers demand.
- Don't initiate talk about salary or fringe benefits. (These topics should come up at a later interview)
- Request a business card. (If there is no card, write down the person's name, address and telephone number)
- Bring a professional looking pen, note pad, portfolio, etc.
After the Job Fair
Follow these guidelines after a job fair:
- Take time to follow up.
- Send a typed thank you letter to the employer, using the business card information. (This letter should be sent within 48 hours of the job fair)
In today's job market, a candidate must be pro-active. Use every job lead to gain an interview. Best wishes for a successful job search.