First and foremost here, Happy Valentine’s Day! No, this is not an article about finding love on Valentine’s Day (here’s one if that’s what you thought you had found: Finding Love), but it is a blog geared towards guiding you in the right direction in your job search and at job fairs.
Next week (Feb 22nd) the University of Minnesota campuses are hosting the U of M Job & Internship Fair from 10am to 4pm at the Minneapolis Convention Center. This would be an ideal opportunity for you to search many employers in one concentrated area. Before you attend the Job Fair it would be diligent of you to research the organizations that will be attending it.
Allow me to explain some reasons why knowing what organizations will be at the Job Fair ahead of time is important to you.
1. It’s Responsible:
Knowing what is going on feels a lot better than looking around in complete amazement to the maze of a Job Fair you have just stepped into. You are doing yourself a great favor by knowing what companies will be there ahead of time, so all you have to do is look at your map and seek them out.
2. It’s Respectful:
Your time is important, so is the time of your peers and the employers. You look lost and uninformed when you do not know what companies are all about at the Job Fair because you are wasting their time. Companies are meeting dozens of people, probably more, at the Job Fair so you need to save time by avoiding asking questions such as:
- What does your company do?
- What open positions do you have?
Instead, say something like this, “I saw you were taking applications for _______ position. I have (or plan on applying) applied online for the position and am wondering if I can leave a copy of my résumé with you.” This will not only show that you are being very proactive, but it will also show that you are conscious of their time and your peers (a great quality to have).
3. It Sets You Apart:
This goes with being responsible I would say, but has a different twist to it. Recruiters do not just attend the U of M Job Fair, they attend many Fairs each year, so they see through your lack of preparation or they DO see how much time and preparation that you put in. It is one thing to wander over to Thomson Reuters’ booth, but it is impressive to recruiters if you have a direct and assertive approach to stepping up to their booth.
4. You Find Better Opportunities:
Since the theme of continuing the previous reason is working here, I will keep rolling with it! When you understand the opportunities that are at the Job Fair and where those companies are located at it gives you a much more relaxed and confident feeling. Being relaxed and confident is fairly easy to convey when speaking to recruiters, so make sure to be prepared and bring your confidence. Recruiters have a way of weeding out candidates early, so making that confident first impression is important to your success.
With the Job Fair being only 8 days away, check out the this list of U of M Job Fair Organizations. Understand what the companies you want to speak with are all about and remember that how much time you put in now will be similar to what you get out of the Job Fair!
What else do you do to prepare and research for job fairs? Comment below and let me know (that goes for the Valentine’s Day article too)!