Over the past few months, I’ve had several people ask me about career fairs. These individuals have never attended a career fair, so they wanted to ask me about my experience. Although I’ve attended a couple of career fairs as a job seeker, I’ve attended more as an employer looking to hire candidates. I’ve attended over 40 career fairs as an employer and I’ve always had tremendous results. Here are 3 tips that I follow in order to attract candidates to my table and have a successful time at a career fair.
1. Body language. I understand that a career fair can be a tough event to work, but you have to remember that you are acting as the face of your company. There will be a lot of people walking around the event who may not be aware of who your company is or what they do. You don’t want the first impression of you to be sitting down behind the table playing with your cell phone. I understand that you may be working and sending emails, but in the eyes of the job seeker, you could be playing around and not taking the job fair seriously. It’s much easier for a candidate to approach someone who is standing beside the table with a smile and looks interested in the career fair. If you can’t stand on your feet all day, having a tall stool set out in front of your display, not behind is ok too.
2. Have a partner. At some point during the career fair, you’re going to need to leave your table for some reason. Leaving your table unattended not only means that you will miss out on a potential candidate, but candidates may think that you are unprofessional and they will move on to another table.
3. Follow-up. If you haven’t attended a career fair, you may be overwhelmed by the number of resumes that you receive. How are you going to follow up with all of them? Which candidates stood out to you? Depending on the number of resumes you receive, it may be a good idea to email each and every person. Some candidates that you meet will stand out and you’ll need to find a way to discreetly mark those resumes so you can follow up with a phone call when you get back to the office. The whole point of going to a career fair is to collect resumes. If you are not planning on collecting resumes, in my opinion, you don’t need to attend.
If you have the right approach and follow these 3 tips, career fairs can be a great experience for you to meet new people or maybe meet your next superstar.