Succeeding at Career FairsMay 15, 2009 by Candice A
Career fairs can be a good way for those looking for a job, to meet a number of prospective employers at one place. Singapore has been having such events pretty regularly recently and those looking for a job should certainly take advantage of this.
While at the fair you will have a chance to briefly introduce and market yourself to employers. Many people just land up and the fair, with the intention to look around and just wander over to companies that look interesting. However, by being well prepared and following some guidelines, you can gain an advantage over other job-seekers and get one step closer to a second interview.
Do some groundwork
Obtain a list of companies attending the fair and do some research on the ones you are interested in. Cover basic things like – products offered, geographic coverage, key clients, recent/expected performance, management team, company culture/vision/mission and so on. By doing this you can ask intelligent/meaningful questions to company representatives, about matters which are not publicly available
Carry supporting material
Make sure you have enough copies of your resume, reference letters, samples of your work and any assessments you have taken
Know the attire of the profession you are interested in an dress accordingly. In general, aim for conservative business attire
Have your speech ready
Prepare and practice your one minute sales pitch, which highlights your main strengths and why you can be a valuable asset to the company
Make sure you send a thank you note to employers you met with, within one day of the fair. Mention how you enjoyed meeting them, re-state your main qualifications/experience and why you would like to work for the company and finally, express your keen interest for a second interview.
Some other tips
You want to make the most of your time spent at the fair. Some simple things can go a long way in this regard
- Decide on the order of interviewing. Some experts suggest meeting with your top choices first thing in the morning, interviewing with your other choices in the middle of the day, and returning to your top choices at the end of the day to thank them again for their time. Remember to stay a bit flexible though, as your top choices may be the top choices of many, creating long lines that you may wish to avoid
- Don’t interview or spend time with companies you are not interested in
- If waiting in line to meet a company, grab a copy of the material they have at their stand, so you can read it before your turn comes
- Do a little bit of networking with others at the fair, such as executive search firms and other job-seekers. You never know where a job-lead might come from
Amit Puri is the Managing Consultant at Sandbox Advisors. He has over 10 years of business and HR related experience, with companies such as Bain & Co, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup. Sandbox Advisors is based in Singapore and provides career management and HR consulting services in Asia.
Courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates seeking entry-level jobs and other career opportunities.
Originally posted on Confessions of an Executive Restaurant Recruiter
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