When you’re searching for a job, it’s a good idea to take advantage of any opportunities that come your way. Job fairs can be a great way to meet lots of companies at once and hear what jobs they’re looking to fill. You may even be able to get your resume into the hands of a hiring manager. That’s not all you can do, though! Read on for six other things you can do at a job fair.
- Check out who’s hiring.
Companies often pay money to attend job fairs, and they do so because they have a business need they’re looking to meet. Chances are very, very good that if a company paid for a booth at a job fair, they’re probably looking to hire. It’s quite likely participating companies have multiple hiring needs. One of the most valuable things a job seeker can acquire from a job fair is a list of participating companies; once you have that list, you can regularly check the companies’ websites for job postings.
- Get a feel for company culture.
If you’ve had more than a job or two, you probably know that different companies can have wildly different cultures. You can spot some of these differences at a job fair. The folks representing the companies at these events are current employees, and if you want, you can ask them what the culture is like where they work.
- Look at what everyone is wearing.
Don’t just pay attention to your fellow job seekers, although that can be educational as well. Check out what the employees from different companies have chosen to wear. This can give you insight into office dress code, which in some cases is a reflection of company culture (see point #2 above). An important note: if you’re invited for an interview, you should still wear interview-appropriate attire. Just because you see company t-shirts at a job fair doesn’t mean you should sport something that casual at an interview.
- Practice professionalism.
Introduce yourself. Shake some hands. Try out your elevator speech. A job fair gives you many opportunities in a lower-stakes environment to practice being your best professional self.
- See what’s in demand.
What industries are hiring? What job titles are you seeing repeatedly? What key skills do the company reps say they’re seeking? Each company is different, but if you start to see pattern in industries, titles, and skills, you can bet that the stuff you see a lot is in demand right now.
- Find training opportunities.
Employers account for the majority of presenters at job fairs, but you’ll sometimes see colleges as well. If you find you’re lacking an in-demand skill or a lot of the jobs you want require a degree you don’t have, you might find what you need from one of the college tables.
(You’re invited to our Spring 2017 Job Fair! Please join us!)