You are working it! You’ve got a polished resume, you’re on all the online job sites and you’ve put on your Sunday best and attended a job fair focused on your career path.
A job (or career) fair is a great opportunity to get noticed. In a world where Artificial Intelligence (AI) sorts out the wanted resumes from the unwanted, a job fair is where you can engage in actual human interaction with real live recruiters! Once you’ve worked that room – what are some next steps you can take?
- Review the business cards you collected. These should represent every conversation you had during the fair. Take some time to think about each person and company with which you engaged. Focus on those that seemed the most promising and eliminate those that, upon further review, do not seem like a good fit.
- Review your LinkedIn profile. You should have learned (by listening) what recruiters are looking for. Make sure what they find fits that matrix. Of course, also make sure what they find is true. Do not pad or embellish to get their attention. Your credibility matters. This also applies to your resume and cover letter(s).
- Follow up. For everyone you spoke with – and hope to work for – respond with a personal message. E-mail is the obvious choice but a handwritten note can help you stand out from the crowd. Whatever you do make sure to personalize that communication to the individual you spoke with. Spend some time on this. Review the company’s web site to gain a greater understanding of their mission. In other words, do your homework.
- Review your performance. Were you well prepared? What did you do well? Poorly? How’s your “elevator pitch”? Every interview, every interaction with a potential employer is a learning experience. Make sure your day was not wasted.
- Make the connection. Reach out and connect with anyone you met at the fair. However, do it on LinkedIn – not Facebook or Instagram.
- Speaking of which…now would be a good time to review your Facebook and Instagram profiles. Are your settings public or private? Is there any content that might turn off a potential employer?
Above all – be patient. The one truth to the search process is that you will rarely land a job as quickly as you want to.
Please share your experiences at job fairs. What worked for you? What didn’t?