Whether you’re a recent graduate seeking your first position or an experienced professional in search of a new opportunity, attending job fairs is one way to network and find job leads. It’s usually possible to obtain a list of employers participating in a job fair ahead of time.
After you’ve done your homework, tailor your resume based on your job objective, and consider bringing multiple versions to the career fair, says Christina MacGill, associate director of career programming for career services at Pennsylvania State University. This entry was posted in General, Hire Veterans, Job Fairs and tagged hiring military, job fair advice, job fair tips, military job fair, Military Recruiting, military to civilian transition, veterans by Carl Savino. An incredibly well-attended job fair was recently held near me, and it struck me as a great opportunity to share some job fair tips.
Last week a large store with a reputation for paying well and offering good benefits opened up about an hour up the highway from me.
People started lining up hours before the job fair began, and a lot of people stood out in the rain for hours only to be turned away because there were just too many people in line to interview. It's an unfortunate situation, but as I read people's reactions in the newspaper and on Facebook, I could see this event can teach a lot about job searching. After the job fair I mentioned above, people who were understandably frustrated with the process and frightened about their prospects overall when they saw so many people competing for a few jobs, chose to vent their frustrations on the company's unofficial Facebook page.
In less than a day, there were over 100 comments on the company's unofficial Facebook page, and about 95% of them were negative about the employer.
My first thought, as I read through those comments, was, I bet the hiring managers at the company have been on that Facebook page, and anyone who has badmouthed the company will not be hired.
However, no matter how frustrated you feel during any part of your job search, you must avoid badmouthing employers on Facebook or other social media networks. Employers use social media to exclude people from job offers, and one negative comment is all it takes to lose out on a great opportunity. People were shocked and dismayed by the number of job seekers who were competing for just a few positions. However, that kind of response is common any time a good employer advertises a job, and particularly a job that requires skills that a lot of people have. It takes time, and you often have to break out of your comfort zone to find unadvertised jobs, but once you find these hidden opportunities, the odds of landing the job are much more in your favour. If many people have the skills that you offer an employer, you're going to have to compete with all of those people for the best jobs. This tactic can require an extra investment of time and perhaps money for training (but not always - there are free ways to develop your skills, like volunteer work), and you'll need to do some research to determine what skills employers struggle to find in your industry. Several people felt that it wasn't worthwhile to stand out in the rain and cold for hours waiting to get into the job fair when it was also possible to just drop off a resume in a drop box. If you are really serious about pursuing an advertised job where the company will be holding a job fair, it is better to go to the job fair, where you can meet the employer in person, than to just drop your resume in a drop off box.
Whenever you have an opportunity to meet a potential employer, you should take it and be prepared to make a great impression whether you're attending a job fair or dropping your resume off in person to the employer's place of business.
If the employer only sees your resume, you are nothing more than a pice of paper to him or her. When you meet the employer in person, you have the opportunity to connect with him or her on a personal level, possibly elaborate on a few key points in your resume, and show the employer how your professionalism and personality make you a great fit for the job. No matter how stellar it might be, your resume really can't compete on the same level with those who meet the employer in person. I won't deny that attending a job fair can be stressful in a lot of ways, but if you really want to work for that company, your best bet is to go to the job fair, don't just submit a resume. Dress to make a great impression, but also be aware of comfort because there's a good chance you'll be standing for quite a while.

If you do find the day to be stressful, avoid bad mouthing the employer, especially in public and on social media sites. You can always vent a bit in the privacy of your own home with a trusted confidant, but try not to get too mired in frustration.
Instead, focus your energy on finding great leads where there is less competition and possibly developing your skills, so you can offer employers something valuable that your competition cannot offer.
Applicant Tracking System SeriesNeed a refresher on all of the applicant tracking system information that's been covered in the past six articles? ATS Optimized Resume SampleIt's time to take everything I've covered in the applicant tracking system (ATS) series and pull it all together into a sample resume. Saving an Applicant Tracking System Optimized ResumeAn applicant tracking system optimized resume needs to be saved in a very specific way to ensure it is formatted correctly to avoid "choking" the ATS software. Career Choice Guide provides free job search and career planning information written by an experienced career coach. February 3, 2016 by Brian Clapp 1 Comment Companies at a job fair arrive with one goal in mind: hire talented people. For me, the mystery of “what do I want to do when I grow up” was solved early on – I always knew that I wanted to work in broadcasting. Whether you are a college student close to graduation or a current professional looking for change, job fairs represent your best chance to meet face-to-face with hiring managers and recruiters from top notch businesses, media outlets, sales and marketing firms…you name it.
Your appearance makes the first impression with recruiters; your resume makes the lasting impression. Write out a quick 2-3 sentence introduction that highlights what you can do for the company, not what they can do for you. What recruiters don’t want to hear is, “I just want to get hired, work hard and learn everything there is to know!” While that sounds genuine, companies look to hire people with the skills and ability to make them a better company.
You don’t want to sound rehearsed or robotic, but it is important to develop questions in advance so they are well thought out and intelligent.
Bring with you at least 20 copies of your professionally designed resume, 2 pens and a Reporter’s notebook to take notes after each conversation. Walk the entire job fair floor making a mental map of where your most important companies are located, what they have at their booth and how many recruiters are at the stations.
One trick I have learned is to talk to other attendees after they finish up with a company you are interested in. Introduce yourself, make eye contact, firm handshake, smile and dive into your 2-3 sentence introduction. Job fairs are a whirlwind, if you wait until the event is over and then try to remember everything that was said you will invariably miss something important. After that first letter, continue to follow up occasionally with the recruiter, but make sure you are providing value. Follow these ten tips and you stand a great chance of turning a day at the job fair into a long-term career!
Recently Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. Job fairs allow you to meet hiring managers from various companies and industries — all housed under one roof for the day. The best-prepared candidates will have already spent time researching corporate cultures, missions and open job opportunities posted on resources like Monster or employer Web sites. I've been guilty of it myself and have had to go back and delete posts I've written in the midst of frustration. However, if you can offer something valuable that others cannot, you'll be far more employable in your field of work.

But after graduating with a good degree from a good school, I still had no idea how to make that a reality.
Hire a professional to improve the quality of your resume and cover letter, a professional resume writer will really help articulate your skills. Typically when you pre-register you can submit your resume early and the companies attending will get an advanced look. You might think you are good at just “winging it”, but recruiters have seen enough people to know who is taking this seriously and who is not. You don’t want to be so consumed with your next question that you don’t realize the recruiter just answered it. For some jobs a suit is appropriate (Sales, Finance, Marketing) but there will be some instances slightly more casual attire will fit the corporate culture better. Ask them how it went, what the recruiters asked and if they have any openings they are discussing.  Information is power, by networking with other people at the job fair you will have an idea of how to approach the recruiter when it’s your turn. After each meeting take out your Reporter’s notebook and write down everything you can remember.  This will greatly assist you in the follow up and will ensure you don’t have one of those “what was that guy’s name?” moments later that night. Make sure you can speak at length about your organization’s mission and career opportunities. A visual exhibit at your booth will grab the attention of job seekers and give them an idea of what your organization is about. What should the candidates know about your organization, such as mission, training programs, career paths, health benefits?
Keep a record of the candidates with whom you met and be sure to store their information in your organization’s applicant tracking system or contact database. Send candidates you rated highly a follow-up email or phone call to better understand how their skills and experience might match your organization’s needs.
If your resume is top notch and your skills well-highlighted, companies could be seeking you out on the day of the job fair.
You don’t need to know everything, but having some advance knowledge of the companies you speak to will impress.
Don’t be too rigid in your questioning, rely on the advance research you have done to help guide the discussion. Demonstrate confidence by making eye contact and giving a firm handshake – then be sure to smile. Most everyone else will send emails; you can stand out by putting in the extra effort of hand-writing a card.
Many of our military candidates arrive early, and you want to be ready to greet them and hit the ground running. Make sure your display highlights the benefits that your organization offers the military candidates.
Provide a handout or two that gives information pertinent to a potential employee or prospective client. Job seekers often feel intimidated at these events and a friendly greeting and handshake go a long way to helping them relax and engage in a productive conversation. Consider rating each candidate with 1 to 5 stars and then follow-up with the highest ranking candidates after the event.

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