Check back here for more information about future job fairs!
Until then, learn how to get the most out of any job fair by following these tips.
Tips for attending the Auxiliary Personnel Services Job Fair (we stress the first two!):
- Bring plenty of resumes with you. You may stop and talk to several departments and leave your resume with several managers (maybe even multiple managers at one department). Be prepared to have a minimum of one resume for every department in attendance. If you have multiple interests or job objectives, make sure you bring enough of each version of your resume.
- Dress in appropriate business casual attire. Even if you know a specific employer you are targeting has a uniform, you always want to dress a level above the daily dress code. Your appearance begins making a first impression before you even speak. Be sure your job fair attire supports your image as a professional who takes the job search process seriously and understands the nature of the industry you are targeting. Your attire should be noticed as being appropriate, but it should not take center stage.
- Research attending departments. Many job-seekers go to job fairs to “see the sights” and are not prepared to interview. You can get a huge jump on the competition by coming back to this website and getting a list of the departments attending the fair. Then do some research on each of the departments you want to interview with. While some of the recruiters will have departmental literature at their booths at the fair, you often can’t access those until right as you get up to the table. All of our departments have websites, so doing your homework should be easy.
- Develop Fair Strategy. You need to devise a strategy or plan of attack for the fair.
- You’ve already done the first step by researching the departments you are interested in.
- The second step is seeing if any new departments are in attendance when you arrive at the fair.
- The third step is surveying the layout of the fair and determining an order of interviewing. Some experts suggest meeting with your top choices first, interviewing with your other choices next, and returning to your top choices at the end of the fair to thank them again for their time. But remember to stay flexible as your top choices may be the top choices of many, creating long lines that you may wish to avoid.
- Consider Bringing Your Portfolio. These portfolios should include copies of your resumes, a list of references, and samples of your best work. While most job fair interviews are fairly short, there may be opportunities for discussing your portfolio with a recruiter — and they may call you back for a more in-depth interview later. It is best to always be prepared no matter what happens. Read this article, Your Job Skills Portfolio: Giving You an Edge in the Marketplace for more information on career portfolios.
- Prepare for Interviews. You may only have two to five minutes to market yourself, thus you need to make the most of your time. Many experts suggest that you develop a one-minute “commercial” that highlights the key benefits that you can offer the organization — and then use it at the beginning of the interview. Also remember the three keys to all interviews: make eye contact, offer a firm handshake, and show enthusiasm. You should also prepare answers to interview questions just as you would any employment interview. Make sure you also have some questions ready to ask the interviewer. A great concluding question for you to ask is, “What do I need to do to obtain a second interview with your department?” if they are not offering jobs on-site. Finally, make sure to avoid poor communication bad habits, such as fidgeting, rocking, chewing gum, etc. Follow this link for more interviewing tips and resources.
- Manage Intangibles. There are several other things you can do to help make your job fair experience a success.
- First, do make sure to interview with all the departments you do want to work for, AND the departments you are less interested in if you have time. See the Network bullet below as to why.
- Second, if you did not prepare for a department you want to interview for, try eavesdropping on several of the interviews ahead of you so you can better prepare. If available, try to get some department literature from the table before getting in line so you can read about the department while waiting; don’t just stand in line doing nothing.
- Third, don’t be upset if the recruiter has to take a break before your interview, keep in mind they are talking to a lot of people. Be understanding and polite!
- Fourth, if your ideal department is not hiring for your expertise level, still do still interview with the department at the fair, don’t be discouraged and walk away. You never know when they will be hiring for that expertise level, and if you really impress them, they may make an exception and hire you anyways (a chance to network)!
- Network With Everyone at the Fair. Job fairs are all about networking. Of course, you are building a network with the recruiters — this task is your most vital. However, you can also network with your fellow job-seekers in terms of sharing information about job leads, departments, and their recruiting strategies and styles. Auxiliary Personnel Services will also be on hand at the fair and are also good source for networking. Learn more by visiting: The Art of Networking.
Last updated: 3/21/2018