It’s Job Fair Season…Help!​

Let the ‘butterflies in the stomach’ feeling commence! It’s job fair season.

Hi everyone! It’s Tracy, the marketing intern for Hire Ventures. As I am quickly coming up on my graduation date (December 2018!!), the job search is now in full swing. I and many other graduates will be entering the ‘real world’ in January 2019. With the unemployment rate currently at 3.9%, companies are creating jobs just to be able to add new talent to their workforce.

During the coming months, campuses around the country will be hosting job or career fairs for their graduating students. I know that during my first career fair, I was beyond nervous to meet with companies that could potentially become my employer. With so little time, how would I be noticed? How am I supposed to get noticed by a potential employer? Employers, how do you choose from the flood of similarly skilled and educated candidates?

Let’s compare this to something you know…

For those of you going to your first career fair or applying for your first post-grad job, think of this experience as dating. You might have a conversation about your likes and dislikes during your first conversation, maybe about who you are and what you are looking for. After making a connection, you may even check out their online presence with a little internet sleuthing. After a few dates, you find out enough to know if its worth a commitment.

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It’s the same for finding that perfect candidate or job, so let’s call this “The Job Dating Process.” The connections go like this:

  • Love at first job fair: When first meeting someone you might eventually date, you are going to remember a few facts about them. At a job fair, companies remember who you are through the conversation and also, your resume! Many employers at the job fair will take notes on your actual resume after your conversation. These companies then identify those true matches and those who don’t hit the mark. So make sure to bring your resume, printed and ready to share! Be sure to include all previous work experience, especially those that pertain to the job. In talking with Teresa, my understanding is that during a job fair, it’s a two-way street. Companies love those who are interested so don’t forget to reach out to your favorite employers after the job fair!

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  • Social media (LinkedIn) stalking: Social media is who we are online and potential employers often check your online presence! One of the fastest growing social media platforms of the moment is LinkedIn, a site dedicated to business connections and one heavily used when recruiting professionals. So, make sure you create a LinkedIn profile that mirrors the resume, make sure your in-person presence is the same as your online one. And make sure the rest of your social media profile exemplifies what an employer would want to be sure to check out our previous post on that: click here.
  • “Pick me. Choose me. Love me.” (based on my qualifications and background): In a world where hundreds of people apply for the same job position, what makes you different among this crowd? If you don’t know your own strengths and weaknesses, your potential employers will also not know about those qualities. Take some time before submitting applications to really find what you excel at. Once these strengths have been realized, it’s time to show your potential employer. Also, don’t be afraid to mention those qualities that you are improving on. A weakness is just a strength that requires some extra TLC.

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I know what you’re thinking,

“Wow! All this great information but you’re just skimming the surface!”

Well, to answer your comment, I don’t think I’m quite finished with this topic. Like I said before, I will be graduating in December 2018. I know many others also graduating around this time and would love some more information about succeeding in the job hunt. During the rest of this month, I will go more in-depth on each of these steps in “The Job Dating Process.” With this series, I will strive to help those just entering the job market and also inform those on the other side of the process.

Helpful? Maybe. Informative? Hopefully. A call to action? Let’s hope so. Don’t miss out on this special series, “The Job Dating Process”!

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