The advantage of a job fair is you get to show off a lot more of yourself than the traditional job application. If you apply for a job online, youll likely only be able to submit a resume and cover letter. On company websites there may be no way to submit letters of recommendation, portfolio samples, and more. If you send these as PDFs or Word documents, they may just be ignored. No one wants to be overloaded with a bunch of large files.
When youre meeting face to face, it is much easier to bring everything in your arsenal. Make no mistake, you should be concise in your presentation, but theres a lot more you can bring to the table. Take the portfolio. A recruiter may not even have the time to go through samples of your work, but if you have a stacked portfolio, professionally bound, this can make a very good impression.
If youre a college student just entering the workforce, you may not have yet compiled a portfolio, but you should still come with as much information as possible. Just handing over two simple pieces of paper, stapled together, wont quite cut it. Think about having each resume in a folder including your resume, letters of recommendation, awards you have won, and even transcripts.
Recruiters will look at everything about a potential employee. If he or she comes well organized, this speaks volumes about how the employee will perform if hired. While you want to pad your resume and look as impressive as possible, you also dont want to weigh down a recruiter with superfluous information. It is a fine line between being informative and concise. Make sure your resume and other information can be read quickly and easily.
Remember that a recruiter is on his or her feet all day meeting applicant after applicant. At job fairs, you may have to wait on line ten or twenty people deep. You need to get the point across very quickly. Dont be over-eager either. There is a way to be enthusiastic while still showing poise and confidencethis is core to a professional appearance.
If possible, you should research each job you will be applying for. At some job fairs, this may be difficult because youll be learning about different companies in the field. However, the Internet is an invaluable resource. Go to the job fair website and see which companies will be attending. Research each company and take notes. It can look very impressive if you can tell a recruiter, I like your company because
Recruiters like prospective employees who take the initiative.
A job fair isnt only about what you hand out, but what you take as well. Get a business card from each recruiter and jot down notes about your conversation. On a follow-up call or email, you can then write to the recruiter, We talked about
It will be a good reminder of your conversation. Even if the recruiter doesnt remember youafter all, he or she is meeting dozens of applicantsit at least demonstrates your sense of organization.
Following up is very important. Dont just wait for a recruiter to call you up. A resume could have been lost or a recruiter could just be very busy. Following up via phone or email can light a fire under a recruiter and facilitate a second interview.
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