How to make a great first impression at a job fair
Follow these five easy steps when attending any job fair, and you should shine like a star, remember first impressions are everything.
1) Bring a Binder
When attending your first job fair , or your tenth, you should know and understand that the main thing you will be getting is souvenirs. Mainly these will comprise of flyers, job description packets, pens , mouse pads , magnets , and maybe something "pricier" , you want to be well prepared to stow these away in your handy binder. Don't forget to also pack your resumes, and if your actively hiring, to bring souvenirs of your own. This is a great way to get people to not only be more comfortable, but they might use your pen or magnet and refer one of their friends accidentally to your place of business.
2) Make a great first impression
Whether you are seeking a job, and simply dropping in on a job fair to see whats available, or actively hiring people, the first impression is everything.
When meeting a person for the first time, start with a firm, confident handshake. Try not to stutter when you speak, and , if you cant think of anything to say , simply tell them it is " a pleasure to meet you". If you are there to simply check out the available position, you can actually get away by just remaining quiet and allowing the person to describe the job to you etc. If you are the person doing the hiring, It would be advisable to be friendly, and most of all energetic with your words.
Nobody in the right mind would come to a job fair to listen to some boring lecture. Try to be persuasive, and don't let anyone leave without a souvenir!
Also try to keep in mind that certain people react differently to different things. You would try to make the position sound interesting to the type of person you want to hire, this way you eliminate certain people before the hiring process.
And for the love of god, make brochures about your company to hand out, this will save you a ton of time, and you wont be getting 100 emails asking basic questions the following day.
3) Wear the proper clothes
I cant say exactly how many people that go to these things come either overdressed, or under dressed. When you go to a job fair, try to wear something casual, yet neat. A simple configuration for the average man can be a simple dress shirt, and a fancy tie, then just wear your favorite bluejeans. That screams "civilized and youthful" , as an employer, you may want to go with dress pants instead of jeans, after all, you do want to be better dressed than those you are about to employ, right?
Women can simply go with anything other than a business jacket (try to stay conservative and professional unless you really want that secretary job) . No employer in the right mind would want employees that dress nicer than him, this I have confirmed with a few of my friends that run kiosks at job fairs, after all jealousy is in the human nature, and a boss, is still human.
4) Be yourself
This is an obvious one, clearly you should not act like you are something your not, or that you have skills for a job that you don't. In the end lies and self flattery will come back to haunt you. Try to keep everything professional. Don't talk about your problems, or (especially) how your going to get shitfaced with your chaps tonight.
If your an employer attending a fair for the first time, try to be friendlier than usual. After all, you wont get many applications from well -qualified personnel if you intimidate them away will you?
5) Don't expect to get what you wanted
90% of all job fairs I have personally been to were pretty much created as a census to see how many people would be looking for a job in a certain field. Don't take it personally if you don't get a call back, or get a reply to your email. Just remember, you showed up and grabbed the bull by it's horns, some day you will get a job, even if thats not today.
Never , ever call an employer and demand a response, this can lead to charges of verbal assault, and you don't want a restraining order do you?
So thats about it, with these five tips, you should be better geared to handle that next, or your first job fair!