How to prepare for PEI job fairs
A number of job fairs take place across PEI each year. If you want tips on how to prepare to make the best impression when meeting employers, you are in the right place.
Going to a job fair can be very intimidating and overwhelming. The key is to prepare ahead of time in order to make the best impression possible.
Before the Job Fair
Find out where it will be held, where to park, and if it is accessible. If you have any questions, call and ask the organization hosting the job fair.
Try to get a list of employers who will attending. Find out as much as you can about the organizations that interest you. Check their websites to find out who they are, what they do, and what jobs exist there.
Be prepared to be interviewed on the spot. Practice answering questions such as: Why do you want to work for us? What do you know about our company? Tell me about your strengths and weaknesses. Be prepared for situational or behavioural questions to illustrate your good judgment and your problem-solving and people skills. Come up with examples of how you handled a difficult situation.
Tailor it to the job and company of interest. List as an objective the type of job you are interested in. Grab the employer’s attention quickly with highlights of qualifications using strong statements about your experience, training, and soft skills. List accomplishments that relate to the company you are applying to.
Make it short – no more than two pages. On average, employers spend just 30 seconds reading a resumé. List your work experience with dates, employer, and a brief description of duties. Make sure your resumé is error free. Ask someone else to proofread it.
What to do at the Job Fair
Get to the job fair early so that you can make an impression before the crowds arrive. Walk around the whole space, locate your target employers, and visit them while you are still fresh.
Smile, shake the employer’s hand, and say hello. Give your self-marketing pitch and be ready to be interviewed.
If you go to the job fair with a friend, visit the booths by yourself. Make sure you turn your phone off.
How to dress
Dress the way you would for a job interview. Look professional. You will be standing for a long time, so wear comfortable shoes.
What to bring
Bring a portfolio to carry copies of your resumé and a note pad. Don’t carry a coffee with you. You might spill it. A bottle of water is fine. Also, a list of references is great to provide if asked.
What to say
Prepare a self-marketing elevator speech. In less than one minute, be able to describe your skills, abilities, and experience as they relate to the jobs advertised. Decide ahead of time when you are available to work.
Make notes of questions you want to ask. Employers don’t mind if you look at your notes while you are talking. It makes you look more prepared.
Based on your research, prepare a few questions to ask each employer such as:
- When will you be interviewing and hiring for the positions?
- What is the hiring process?
- Who can I contact for more information?
When the employer asks if you know anything about the company, your previous information gathered will show you did your research. The employer will see that you are interested and ready to work for the company.
Get the employer’s business card with the name of the person you are speaking with and the person who does the hiring. Don’t forget to leave your resumé.
Follow up after the Job Fair
This shows your enthusiasm and positive attitude. You could do a telephone call or send an e-mail. Thank them for taking the time to speak with you, and say you would be thrilled to work with them.
For more help with your job search, check out a complete list of community resources, program and services visit www.employmentjourney.com/resources-services-for-job-seekers/.
For a list of job fairs, check out our upcoming events at www.employmentjourney.com/calendar/.