Getting the most out of a job fair

By: John Perkins

With Brevard’s low unemployment rate, you may have seen an increase in local job fairs.

A Job fair gives you the chance to speak directly to the folks that are looking to hire someone just like you.

Here are nine tips to help you navigate a job fair and increase your chances of landing a job:

Dress like you are attending a job interview, but remember to wear comfortable (but professional) shoes.

Research the companies that will be attending in advance and what type of jobs they may have available.

Bring at least 50 copies of your resumes, better to have too many than not enough.

Prepare a short 30 second elevator speech about who you are, what your experience is, and what you can bring to a potential employer.

Come up with a plan to navigate the room. Keep track of the companies you visit so you do not visit the same employer twice.

  Greet a potential employer with a confident smile, a firm handshake, and look them in the eyes when addressing them. This is your opportunity to use that elevator speech if the employer asks you to tell them about yourself.

Be prepared to answer questions and have some questions prepared to ask them.

While some people get hired on the spot, this is not standard, so listen carefully and be prepared to fill out an application online.

Don’t forget to gather an employer’s contact information so you can follow up within a few days with a brief thank you note and letting them know you followed any instructions they gave for applying, and to reiterate your interest in their business.

Navigating a job fair and meeting many employers can be complex, but following these simple tips will go a long way towards increasing your chances of success. Good luck!

John Perkins is a professional recruiter at CareerSource Brevard, a regional public/private partnership and part of a statewide network of 24 regions, known as CareerSource Florida.