You’re Going to A Job Fair…Now What?

lakeland-staffing-4In our previous post, we discussed job fairs with PHR Staffing Solutions.  Our recent fair at the Lodge at Woodlake here in Lakeland was a success, and we are looking forward to more throughout the Polk County area.  We know that many potential applicants follow job fairs and local expos to keep up with the latest openings in their desired field, but often they know neither what to expect nor how to prepare for these events.

So, how do you best prepare when you’re heading out to your job fair?  Whether it’s your very first one, or you simply need a refresher course, here are some of our favorite tips to make sure you stand out from the crowd:

Do Your Prep Work AND Your Homework.  Job fairs extend far outside of the event itself. Doing work beforehand is important since it will give you confidence and will also make you more efficient during your time spent at the job fair or expo. Look over the list of businesses expected to have booths set up (you can usually get this list from the venue/business hosting the job fair) and scout out which ones you are interested in talking to.  Do some research about your top picks, so you’ll appear knowledgeable and professional when you approach their representatives at their event booth.  Additionally, following social media of the various companies you’re interested in can be helpful, since they usually advertise about their intent at the job fair, and you’ll be more in tune with what’s going on over at their company as well as what to expect from them at the fair. Finally, after the event, follow up by doing your “homework” and go over any contacts that requested a call from you.  Be sure to schedule out quiet, interrupted time to make these calls within the expected time frame (usually 48 hours, unless otherwise specified).

Professional Appearance Is Important.  While full interview apparel (dress suit) is not always expected at a job fair, it’s important to look professional when you arrive.  If you aren’t opting for full dress wear, at least aim for a business-casual look, and take all the extra measures to look as well put-together as possible.  Our blog post here (link to post about interview apparel) will give you some tips and tricks for dressing the part at your next job fair, and hopefully, your resulting interviews! In addition to appearing professional with your wardrobe choices, exuding an air of confidence by way of a firm (but not too strong) handshake, clear and concise introduction, etc. go a long way in standing out to potential employers.

Have Your Paperwork Ready…and Be Prepared to Take Some Home!  Never go to a job fair or an expo without multiple copies of your resume updated and in-hand.  It should be easily accessible and neat (not folded up in your purse or wrinkled in your briefcase).  For ease, carrying your resumes in a simple, muted-color folder can be a great way to have them handy and easily reached, but not awkward to hold.  Not only do you need to have your own paperwork ready to go, but it’s usually wise to have some type of bag (sometimes plastic bags are given at the door) to carry brochures, business cards, and any “swag” you are sent home with from the various companies represented at the event.  Hint: use the business cards for various companies as a place to write any important contact information or notes about them.  This means you will have everything you need in one place and easy to find when it’s time to make those follow up phone calls.

We hope this post will help you feel sure of yourself when you walk into your next job fair or expo.  We would love to see you at our next event, so stay tuned for the next PHR Staffing Solutions job fair!  We provide top-quality employees for businesses throughout the Central Florida region, and we are certain we have a position for YOU!