Finding Hidden Opportunities At Job Fairs
By Mike Bowman   

People attending a job fair with no plan are probably going to be wasting their time. They most likely will end up wandering aimlessly through the job fair and perhaps end up at the table with the shiniest marketing materials or best freebies. Donít squander your time at the job fair you attend. A wide range of industries are often represented at job fairs, which means you will have many opportunities to meet people who can give you insights to jobs that may not be advertised otherwise.

Additionally, donít assume that you are familiar with every position a particular employer may have open. You never know what leads you may find at a particular booth, and speaking to a human resources representative can provide you with information about any unadvertised positions. An August 18, 2014, article on detailed Chris Snively's experience at job fairs, while he was unemployed. He stated, "Job fairs are great for talking to people who are really involved in recruiting for their business. You can really get a feel for what they're looking for." Donít pass up a booth just because you are unfamiliar with the companyís name or industry.

Regarding talking to the recruiters and employers at job fairs, Snively also said, "It helps you define your job search ... seeing what's available out there. It opens up your perspective, gives you a lot more possibilities." Without taking some time to talk to the representative you will not know what new or unique opportunities the company may have. Furthermore, spending a few minutes with each recruiter is a good way to generate leads. You should never just drop a resume off at an employerís table, take a few of their free giveaways, and walk away.
While the recruiter may not have a position that matches your skillset, she may know of a position somewhere else and can provide a reference for you to follow up on.

Most job fairs are scheduled for at least 3 or 4 hours. That gives you lots of time to visit with every employer in attendance. Donít treat the job fair like a fast food drive thru. You canít just swing by for a few minutes, order a new job, and drive off with a new career. Plan on spending the entire amount of time allotted for the job fair looking for work. If you have visited every employerís booth before the end of the job fair that is fine. However, be sure you have not left any stone unturned. Use the job fair to explore every option available to you.


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