When looking for a new career, heading to a job fair can be an easy way to give yourself a little jumpstart. These are held all over Pittsburgh, and using these as a way to get your foot in the door can speed up the job search process.
Because of the sheer number of employers and potential employees that attend job fairs, the atmosphere can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. Despite this, they are still great resources, and if you are struggling to get the career search going, you need to use these to your advantage. For that reason, we’ve listed here a few tips for you if you do decide to attend a job fair. Hopefully, this can eliminate that overwhelming feeling and help you to use these tools for the purpose that they were meant to be used for: getting a job.
First, look the part that you aspire to be. If you are going to a fair with the intent of getting a job in an office, you should look professionally, wearing a shirt and tie. You should also be well groomed, carry yourself well, and be very polite. This is the first impression that you are giving, and you want it to be a great one.
Second, have everything you need with you. Bringing in a briefcase with materials that will help support your search is a good way to ensure that you do this. You should have multiple copies of your resume with you, and if a portfolio is needed, you should have that, too. A little tip that might help is to have multiple versions of your resume prepared as different types of jobs will be looking for different things. So, if you know that two different roles are going to be at an upcoming fair and you are interested in both, you should have two versions of your resume with you, each optimized for the role you are seeking.
Third, be mentally prepared. Many employers will conduct on the spot interviews. You should be mentally ready for this possibility, and if you can stand out at this stage in the game, your odds of getting hired go up immensely. You might even be hired on the spot if you’re lucky.
Finally, you should be following up after the fact. If you speak to a couple of employers and they seem interested in you and your skills, give them a follow up call in a day or two, depending on how the conversation goes. Sending them a thank you note for taking the time to meet with you can be helpful, too. Even though your job search is about your skills and how they can contribute to a company, you need to remember that you are dealing with real people, and being polite and showing gratitude can go a long way toward helping you get the job of your dreams.
Remember, these tips go for any job fair you might be attending, not just those held in the Pittsburgh area.