Searching for a job, especially at job fairs, can be a lot like trying to get a date at a crowded bar — there are many potential dates to choose from, but chances are none will want to dance with you or even date you for the long-term.
If you’ve ever been to one of the many job festivals across the country, you’ve seen the lengthy lines of job applicants with maintains in hand, all pushing for a place up front to get a recruiter’s ear. It’s a meat market without the drinks. Seems to a few since being laid off in June 2008, and have for the most part found them to be a waste of time unless you go in prepared and with a goal associated with networking rather than getting a job immediately.
Very slim odds
With numerous people to talk to, it’s difficult with regard to recruiters or human resource associates to give your resume enough attention and to remember who you are, so it’s a smart idea to leave the job fair with the understanding that while your work there probably won’t lead to a job now, any contacts a person make should help in the future.
“Not doing something is definitely not an option. Candidates definitely want to be proactive, ” mentioned Edward Ryabovsky, vice president of business development and recruiting to get Hold Brothers, a financial services firm in New York.
As a corporate recruiter who finds venues for profession fairs, Ryabovsky told us in the phone interview that the odds of getting a job offer after applying at a job fair are remote. Associated with 350 resumes he got in a recent a job fair, he mobile phone screened 12 of them, interviewed four in person, and offered a job to one candidate, who ended up taking a work elsewhere. But don’t take that one-out-of-350 figure to heart in the future.
“Just because we don’t have the need at that particular time does not always mean a need will not show up” later, he said.
That’s why likely to a job fair just to network and obtain your name and resume in front of people who you can call later for a follow-up discussion is important, he said.
Unless a job fair is aimed at a specific type of worker — such as for engineers — most job fairs will attract the same varieties of employers. They include government agencies that are always hiring, such as the FBI and fire departments, and industrial sectors that rely on sales and have high turnover, such as life insurance, car sales and financial advice.
Make the most of it
Here are some tips on how to succeed at a job fair:
Dress appropriately. The applicant who wears a business suit will get noticed by an employer, while the one in casual clothes will get exceeded over, Ryabovsky said.
Ask wise questions. Just dropping off the resume won’t impress a recruiter. Ask questions about the job you want, offer your business card and ask for theirs.
Build your network. Through LinkedIn, an e-mail or phone call, contact everybody you’ve met after a job reasonable to follow up and see if you can meet in person.
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Expect low-paying jobs in many job fairs. High proceeds and low pay is partially why some companies are constantly on job fairs. They need to constantly hire. Once you realize this, either keep away from those employers, or ask how quickly you can move up or in the event that there are other, better-paying positions that you’re skilled for. Even if they don’t have a job for you personally, they might know another company that will does and can pass your title along.
Research the companies you want to talk with. Know before you walk in the doorway what companies you’re interested in, research them and have something intelligent to say or even ask about the company when you get to front side of the line, advises Lavie Margolin, a job search adviser in Nyc.
Talk yourself up. Along with network, getting out and socializing with other unemployed people at a job fair is really a way to keep your social skills operating and practice interview techniques.
Kimberly Brady, a New York City resident who has been out of work for nearly 2 yrs, told us in an e-mail that she had two job interviews through job fairs, and while the lady didn’t get either job, these people helped her practice her interviewing skills. “I don’t expect I will ever find the job I want or need at a job fair, yet that doesn’t mean I won’t meet the individual who knows about the job I want and need at one of those fairs, ” the girl wrote. “That’s what makes standing in line for two hours just to get in the doorway worth it. ”
Other job-seeking techniques The big crowds of a job fair are enough to put off Stanley Lee, an electrical engineer who is searching for work. Instead, Lee recommends nearing start-ups, successful entrepreneurs, or team leads with proposals for short-term free work as a way to get a feet in a door.
To really shine as being a candidate, recruiter Bruce Hurwitz recommends knowing how to write a proper business e-mail when following up an introduction at a job fair. Of 100 applicants he sees at a job reasonable, Hurwitz said that 10 to 15 will follow upward by e-mailing him their maintains, but only one will do it professionally. That’s the person he wants to discover at a job fair.
If that’s not you, you can still have a good time at a job fair. After finding job candidates crying in the parking lot outside of job fairs because the whole experience was too depressing, Julie Austin started Fun Job Festivals, where for a fee ($39 for the Nov. 9 bowling job fair in Hollywood, Calif. ) job seekers can bowl, play miniature gold, shoot pool, go to a comedy show or other fun activities having an HR representative from one of many businesses.
If nothing else, you’ll get to work on your own bowling game for a few hours — and if you’re lucky, the HUMAN RESOURCES rep will like you enough to actually want to hire you.