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What is a job fair?
- It is an event to learn about the job market.
- It is a place where you can:
It offers workshops and lectures to learn how to succeed in your career.
- meet employers
- get job leads
- learn about job requirements
- talk to experts and representatives of companies
Benefits of going to a job fair:
- You may get a job.
- You learn of job openings.
- Expand your network. Make yourself visible to employers.
Tips when attending a job fair:
- Know what to expect
Set your objectives
- Check the list of companies and the schedule of activities.
- Register or buy a ticket.
- Read the job fair’s online event page or poster.
- Call the organizer if you have questions (example: parking, how to get to the venue).
Do prior researchPrepare your resume and business card
- Know what kind of opportunities you are looking for.
- Set your goals so that you’ll have direction once you’re there.
- Decide which booths you will go to. Know which workshops to attend.
- Maximize your time with a plan. Don’t walk around aimlessly.
Create a portfolio
- Review your resume (follow Canadian style resume guidelines).
- Print several copies to bring.
- Some job fairs accept resumes before the event.
- Check the job fair webpage. See if they have a section for uploading resumes.
- This is done to allow companies to shortlist candidates for job openings.
- You may get a call even before the job fair.
- Exchange business cards with employers if they don’t accept resumes.
- Build contacts. You may need them at a later time.
Make a plan
- A portfolio is composed of:
- a copy of your resume
- list of references
- samples of your best work
- This will help make you a stronger candidate.
- Come early to talk to specific companies.
- Avoid crowds.
- You will be able to ask your questions before they get too busy.
- Make a list of questions. Make a script to introduce yourself. These will help if you are nervous about your English.
- Be prepared in case a recruiter interviews you right then and there:
- Remember to stand out in person in a way that you might not on your resume.
- Be ready with short stories. Tell them how you practise soft skills at work.
At the job fair
- Dress professionally
- Wear a business attire or business casual.
- Be neat and polished.
- Wear comfortable shoes. You will need to do a lot of walking or standing in line.
- For more tips read: How to dress for a job interview.
- Make eye contact.
- Have a firm handshake ready.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. But ask thoughtful questions. Don’t ask details that are already on their brochure or poster. Use your prior research.
- Always be tactful, polite and pleasant.
- Don’t interrupt a current conversation. You’ll get your turn.
- Listen well.
- If they ask you about your work, be ready with your elevator speech.
- Present your resume or portfolio when they ask for more details.
- Network with:
- your fellow jobseekers. They can share job leads and other information even after the job fair.
- Organizations such as service providers, professional associations, speakers at the seminars, or employment agencies.
- These are great connections that will help you grow in your field.
- It will be hard to remember everyone you meet at a job fair.
- Write short notes on the business cards you have collected. Note down what you talked about or how the contact was helpful.
- You can also use a small notebook to note names, companies, and other details.
- You will need these details when you send a follow-up email.
- Send emails to the representatives you have spoken to at the event.
- Make it short, pleasant and straight to the point.
- It can be a thank you email to a recruiter.
- It is an opportunity to state your interest in the company. This will help make you stand out from all the other applicants.
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