You’ll Never Guess Who You Should Be Watching At The Job Fair
By Mike Bowman   

Job fairs give you a chance to learn about new careers, apply for open positions, learn about unadvertised positions, meet directly with recruiters and decision makers, hone your networking and interviewing skills, and of course, study your competition. Here are a few of the people you will find at a job fair:

1. Recruiters from contracting agencies.
Contracting agencies service a number of employers’ hiring needs by actively recruiting qualified job seekers. So it makes sense they would want to be at a job fair where there are many job seekers. While these agencies may not have a job opening you are immediately interested in, you should still stop at their booth and chat. Recruiters are highly connected people and may be able to assist you in finding the work you want.

2. Services.
Job fair attendees will often find professional services being displayed at the event. For example, many colleges like to use job fairs as a way of interacting with professionals who want to advance their career and may be open to attending graduate classes in order to do that. Additionally, services such as resume writing, career coaching, or government sponsored assistance programs for job seekers may have a presence at the job fair.

3. Employers.
This is an obvious one, but what you may also find at the job fair are employers you didn’t think of and may be a good match for you. John was a call center manager and went to a job fair in Phoenix looking for call center positions. Knowing its important to visit every booth at a job fair he stopped to talk to a recruiter for a trucking company. While talking to the trucking company recruiter John discovered that they were building a new call center and needed a manager. Be sure to interact with all the employers, because just like in John’s case you may discover an unadvertised opportunity.

4. The One Person You Really Need To Check Out.
You may not have thought about it, but there is someone at the job fair you really need to check out – the other guy applying for the jobs you want. You will not be the only person looking for a job at the event, so use this opportunity to check out your competition. What are they saying to employers? What kind of questions do they have? Who gets the most positive attention from employers and why? Can you / should you emulate that? By studying your competition at job fairs you can better craft your own approach when meeting with employers to ensure the best interaction possible.


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