Search This Blog

Friday, April 9, 2010

Job Fairs - Dressing for Success

Do you plan your wardrobe for a job fair?

Recently, at a job fair, the clothing choices I witnessed that individuals were wearing, brought up this topic.  The options ran the gamut.

First, let me say that you don't have to be a fashion plate at a job fair, but you need to be professional in your appearance. Many of the men had on suits with a dress shirt and tie, briefcase with resumes, and the women had on equally nice pants suits or skirts and heels.  These individuals were prepared for any situation.

Other men had on khakis, a nice shirt and tie, or the women were wearing slacks and tops.  In most situations this is considered appropriate attire.

What struck me the most were the individuals who had on jeans, sneakers and baseball jackets.

When working a job fair you are one of a sea of individuals who the recruiter will see.  You have potentially 10 seconds to make a good first impression. How you look and what you say are all judged within that time.  You want the recruiter to have a good impression of you from appearance to your skills.

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How do YOU work a job fair?

You have your resume ready, you know the dates of the job fairs, but is that all you have to do?

Before you go, you should spend some time on your plan of attack.  Most job fairs post in advance the names of the companies that will be in attendance.  Review the list, see if any of the companies fall within your targeted area of expertise.  Complete some background research on that company so that you are able to converse with the representative at the fair. Make sure that your resume reflects the skills you have that will best suit that company.  If there happens to be more than one company at the fair that you will be focusing upon, prepare an individualized resume and cover letter for each of the companies. Don't just "spray and pray".

While you are at the Job Fair, make sure you have your "elevator speech" ready.  You may only have a few moments of time with the recruiter and you want to make the most of them by being able to express why you would be a good fit for their company. If you are allowed time to ask questions, you could ask about opportunities, job responsibilities, and skills and/or past experience they are seeking.  Also, you may want to ask about the application and hiring process and the appropriate method and timeframe for follow-up.

Do you ask for business cards from the recruiters? It is a good method to complete your follow-up (based on the follow-up timeframe) and send a thank you note or email. Use it to notate what you spoke with the recruiter about at the fair. 

After the fair, make sure you send recruiters any additional items they requested. Send your thank-yous. Track everything in your log so that you can jog your memory when they call for the on-site interview.

For more assistance on job fairs and your job search, visit our website at

Opinion time - Should you invite the recruiter to be a LinkedIn contact?