We recently featured some tips on how companies can get the most out of job fairs and open houses. Now it's time to look at the other side -- how can government job seekers get the most out of attending job fairs? Here are some of our thoughts:[Tweet "How can government job seekers get the most out of job fairs? #GovEventsBlog"]
- Treat it as an interview - Job fair organizers, like Bradford Rand of TechExpo, say overwhelmingly that job seekers are expecting interviews at the job fairs. With many job seekers still employed, these fairs are one-stop-shops for them to get an initial foot in the door with a number of companies while only taking one day of PTO. So, advice to seekers is be prepared to interview - your peers at the event will be doing so and the companies exhibiting are expecting you to be ready for an interview.
- Dress for success - In the mindset of a job fair being an interview, wear what you would to an in-office, traditional interview. Only consideration is making sure you have comfortable shoes. There may be a lot more walking and standing than in a traditional interview setting.
- Do your homework - as much as possible, research the companies that will be attending. Plot out who you want to meet with and come prepared with knowledge about those companies' business, current openings and what you can bring to the table.
- Bring resumes - have something the interviewers can read on site and make sure your name is in the pile of paper the recruiters will reference when back at the office. In those resumes be sure to show your clearance level if you have one. If you have a military background, 'translate' your resume so someone without a military background can easily understand your skills and how they transfer to the private sector.[Tweet "Military background? 'Translate' your resume so non-military can fully understand your skills. #GovEventsBlog"]
- Take notes - after meeting with a company, take some time to jot down the highlights of the conversation. Doing so after each interaction will help you later as you work to remember whom you talked to and what you said.
- Write your thank you notes - use those notes to write a targeted thank you to all of the people you met. Mention the specifics of your conversation as this will help jog their memories of you after a long day of meeting new people.
We'd love to hear from job seekers and interviewers alike - what are your tips for getting the most out of job fairs? Let us know in the comments.