Are you a recent graduate? If so, one of the first things on your agenda should be to check out a job fair. Summer is one of the most opportune times to engage with employers at fairs, not to mention the high number of fairs dedicated to new grads. You might be unconvinced that you can make much of an impact at a fair when there’s such a huge influx of job seekers following graduation, but hear us out.
Here’s why attending a job fair can benefit both your professional experience and launch your post-academic career.
You Can Research and Learn More about Different Industries
Graduating and making your debut into the job market can be daunting, especially if you’re unsure of what you want to do for a career. Your degree might’ve given you all the hard (and in some cases, soft) skills you need to start off as a qualified candidate, but you have no idea what role would be ideal for you.
Attending job fairs, especially one that’s aimed at new grads, can give you great scan of what various industries offer. Some grad fairs are very large in scope and have exhibitors like Liberty Staffing, a temporary and permanent agency hiring for a variety of office and industrial jobs.
The general rule about having a successful visit is to research companies that will be there beforehand, so that you won’t be overwhelmed by how many different companies are present. Researching companies beforehand also gives you the information you need to apply online to them, especially if you’ve made successful networking attempts during the fair.
Leave a Lasting Impression on Potential Employers
Despite the convenience that the online job market and application process has brought to the hiring process, there’s nothing quite like being able to meet face-to-face with potential employers. If you are following effective tips for attending job fairs, such as dressing professionally, bringing copies of your resume and business card, and being prepared to sell yourself, the representatives you engage with are sure to remember you.
You might not think you will stick out amongst the many new grads at such job fairs, but being able to communicate who you are as an individual is crucial to making a lasting impression. Your resume can only tell so much about you as someone who might be the perfect fit for a company. Meeting with recruiters in person is the best way to network and flex your interpersonal skills.
Hone Your Professional Etiquette Skills
Don’t underestimate the importance of good connections made with representatives at job fairs. If you felt that certain potential employers clicked with you during your in-person meeting with them, follow up via e-mail. Thank them for the opportunity to chat with you about their company. Express your interest in applying to their company in the future.
Recruiters remember candidates who are not only passionate about job opportunities at their company, but who take the time to connect after the fair. Following up reminds them who you are, shows them you are an active job seeker, and gives them a way to contact you if they are interested in hiring you.
Job fairs are designed to encourage healthy networking opportunities. Attending these fairs gives you an insider’s look at job market industries, and gives you the chance to put your hard-earned skills as a new grad to the test.