True to the Millennial stereotype, I outsource as much of my life to technology as possible. I hate shopping centers so I buy stuff online; I’m terribly awkward when meeting new people so I find dates on Tinder; and I will always take texting over calling. But as much as I hate social interaction (and I really do hate it), even I will admit that sometimes getting out there and talking to people face-to-face is the best thing you can do. One such case is the good old job fair.
Job fairs might seem to you like an adult version of a school dance — awkward, painful, and likely to end with a humiliation. But the truth is, the exhibiting companies are just as interested in you as you are in them. As long as you keep a few simple things in mind, you’re sure to leave a great impression and make new connections. To help you do just that, I put together this handy list of easy tips to get the most out of your next job fair:
1. Do your research
Job fairs typically provide a list of the exhibiting companies on their website. Make sure to look them up beforehand and note down the ones you’re most interested in. There probably won’t be enough time to visit every single booth at the fair so you should aim to visit your favorites first.
2. Perfect your elevator pitch
The job fair is your moment to shine so make sure you know exactly what you’re going to say to the recruiters. Start by writing down key information about yourself: your skills, experience, and career aspirations — an attention-grabbing fun fact won’t hurt, either. Once you’re ready, pick the most important points and write a succinct pitch that you can deliver in under a minute. Practice your pitch as many times as it takes to for it to feel natural. Confidence is key!
3. Don’t come empty-handed
A solid elevator pitch is a great start but you need to make sure recruiters still remember your name after a full day of talking to prospects. Bring a few copies of your resume with updated contact details and hand them out to potential employers after you’ve delivered your pitch.
If you want to really stand out, consider a more creative alternative to a conventional resume. Our Head of Facilities and Operations, Wai-Man, applied for a position at TQ with a custom-made photo book and it was brilliant.
4. Follow up
Want to increase your chances of hearing back? Ask the recruiter for their business card and send them a thank you email the following day. You’ll remind them about meeting and make a great impression at the same time.
Even if the company you’re interested in doesn’t have an opening that fits your profile, still take the time to connect with the recruiter and make sure you get their work email. When the right opportunity opens up, it will be a huge advantage to have a direct line of contact with someone within the company.
Last but not least: job fairs are a fantastic place to network! You’ll have your elevator pitch perfected and your business cards ready so all you need to do it strike up a conversation and let serendipity work its magic. We’ve had some incredible chance encounters happen under our roof before!
This article was originally published on TNW Growth.
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