Are Job Fairs Dead?
In this day and age, everything can be accessed online. So does that mean job fairs are the thing of the past? Some may say yes, they are obsolete, but others may argue that job fairs are here to stay. Using 2017 data from more than 300 organizations, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found that, on average, employers are attending 41 career fairs per year. That is 10 more than the average from 2015. That is a large number of job fairs – and many opportunities to connect with a variety of organizations you love or have never heard of!
If you are in school or searching for your next career opportunity, attending a job fair could be an advantage to you landing your next job opportunity.
It’s hard to believe that in this technological world an old-school career fair could be still relevant. Here are some advantages to why job fairs are still worth your time:
Networking Made Easy(er):
Job fairs allow you to make face-to-face contact with a recruiter, HR, or a hiring manager that you would not be able to make through social media or an online application. They also allow you to surround yourself with other job seekers, you never know who could have the potential to help you out! The key as a job seeker is to make and find as many connections as possible and to leverage those connections to have a higher chance of landing your next job.
There Are Way More Job fairs Than You Think:
Colleges are everywhere in the Merrimack Valley / Greater Boston area just google your local community college you are bound to come up with a job fair near you. However, don’t solely rely on colleges check out your community centers and career centers near you to see if they are hosting any job fairs. Check out our next job fair we will be attending, August 15th, at the Lowell Spinners Field!
Career Planning Tool:
Can’t envision your next career path? Job fairs allow you to make a face-to-face connection with someone who works at a company or even fills the shoes of the job they are hiring for. This allows you to get a small feel of what the job is actually like and could spark your interest in a potential new career path.
*Stay tuned for our next blog post on how to prep for a job fair!*
Still wondering what fat penguins have to do with career fair tips? Continue reading to find out!
Career fairs are not dead! Surprising to many, they are still alive and have many benefits to job seekers. However, if you attend a career fair unprepared they could have potential negative effects on your success at landing a job. Here are some tips on how you can best prepare for a career fair.
- Research, Research, Research!
It is super important before you arrive at the career fair that you research what companies and what job openings they have available. If you spend a little bit of your time researching the companies, then you can ask more specific questions that could impress the company representatives.
- Dress to impress
First impressions are the most important. You want to dress professionally but you also want to be comfortable. Wear lightweight clothes and comfortable but professional shoes.
- Body Language
Take a deep breath and don’t be nervous! Career fairs are valuable because they give a face and full first impression beyond a simple resume submittal. Engage hiring companies with eye contact and a friendly handshake.
- Time Matters
You want to make sure you give yourself plenty of time to visit all the company tables you want. Prioritize what employers you have the most interest in so you can utilize the most of your time.
- Take the Leap
Although research is important beforehand, don’t shy away from introducing yourself to a company that you’re not familiar with. If they are not a fit, then walk away and be mindful of their time and your own. If it’s a fit, then stepping out of your comfort zone was worth it!
- Have Your Resume Prepared and Printed
Make sure you bring enough resumes to give out. It’s better to have extra resumes than not enough.
- Personal Pitch
Be prepared to present yourself and your skillsets by having an “elevator pitch” ready to go. You want to highlight your experience, education, skills, and what you bring to the table for a company.
- Get Connected
After engaging in conversation with an employer be sure to ask for their business card! This allows you to follow up with the employer and to say thank you for their time. Employers are more likely to work with you when they sense you are serious about your job search!
The more you prepare for a career fair the more likely you are to be successful at landing a job!
*Career fair tip disclaimer: We advise you not to use Kevin’s “break the ice” tactic above.