Using job fairs to your advantage

job fairJob fairs are one of the most effective networking and job hunting tools. Such events are now not only limited to metros but have successfully penetrated to smaller cities as well. In fact the concept of virtual job fairs where you can identify employment opportunities and communicate with recruitment managers online from the comfort of your home have also gained immense popularity.

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)/Career Journal Poll Search Tactics Survey1 indicates that over 70% of human resources departments rely on job fairs to recruit employees. It is indeed a cost effective recruitment strategy that employers try to take advantage of.

A job fair gives candidates who are fresh out of college, the opportunity to get exposed to other companies apart from those visiting their campuses. They can gather material from various participating employers under one roof and compare them to find out the best possible option. They can even build professional network and get to know avenues that they never knew before.

Few points to consider before planning to visit job fairs:

Preparing for the fair

It is important to do your homework before visiting a job fair. Register yourself beforehand, if that is required. Prepare a solid resume’ and practice how to promote yourself during such fairs. After reaching the venue, study the floor plan of the fair and plan strategically where to start from.

During the fair

Dress appropriately and behave professionally. Try to gather as many company brochures as possible. Talk to other candidates while waiting in the queue. After you submit your resume’ to the concerned employer do feel free to ask about the next step. Listen attentively to what the recruiter has to say. It is better not to go in groups comprising of your friends to the employer booths. Collect business cards from every recruiter you meet even if they are not hiring in your chosen field.

Things to carry

• Enough copies of your resume
• Note book and a pen
• Folder to keep company literature and business cards
• Passport-size photographs
• Work portfolio or project report (if any), copy of your final marks card etc.

After the fair

Compile a list of the names of employers along with contact details. Follow up with them with a thank you note preferably through email within the next 24 hours.

Every employer participating in a career fair may not give on the spot offers, but this sort of events enable you to meet a number of company representatives. The experience of attending such fairs is a good learning experience and gives you the much needed confidence to go ahead in your career.


- Ranjita Chattopadhyay (views expressed in the article are that of the author)


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