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Don’t consider a job fair a “cattle call” – consider it an opportunity. Think about it; what if you could visit one place where several potential employers are seeking to make on-the-spot hiring decisions? What if you could spend a day in one location meeting top recruiters from multiple companies that are searching for the kind of expertise you bring to the table?
How can that be so wrong?
Now that your head is in the job fair game, what are the top do’s and don’ts for attending one of these important career events?
Three Don’ts for Attending a Job Fair
1. Don’t skip registering for the event
Pre-registering is highly recommended. Many times, you’ll be asked to submit a resume or a bio. Do it! Recruiters and Human Resource Managers will review these submissions and develop a list of candidates they want to speak with at the fair.
2. Don’t waste time
Skip wasting time at the fair interviewing with companies you don’t want to work for. Have a strategy going into the job fair and know which booths you want to target – and which ones to avoid.
3. Don’t Skip the Follow-Up
Don't forget to follow up with the executives you meet. It is probably one of the best things you can do to illustrate your dedication, positive attitude, and perseverance.
Yet, this important follow-up task is still one of the most often overlooked after a job fair visit. The general rule of thumb is if you received a business card, send an email or note thanking them for their time. You could even leave a message on their voicemail, or send a link to your online portfolio as a follow-up.
Three Do’s for Attending a Job Fair
1. Do take multiple printed copies of your resume
In fact, if there are several types of jobs you’re targeting, it’s okay to develop two or more versions of your resume that highlight specific skill sets.
2. Do Bring Your Portfolio
Do you have a portfolio of creative work? You should, and absolutely bring it along. It could include work samples, resume copies, and references. You may not have an opportunity to share it, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
3. Do Your Research
Research the companies attending the fair. It’s a good idea to develop a list of questions for each company you’re targeting. You should also practice interviewing and sharing your version of an “elevator” speech – a short explanation of who you are, your experience, and what you’re looking for. Be prepared for some of the most basic questions such as, “What brings you in today?”
Artisan has been helping professionals across the creative job market for years; we have the connections you’re seeking, and our service is free! Our process includes pairing you with an individualized Talent Representative who can work closely with you to help you attain your career goals.