How Can You Stand Out as a Potential Candidate at a Career Fair?
Career fairs are large events with many successful individuals such as employers and recruiters who give potential employees an opportunity to network, learn, and land an interview. When at a career fair as an employee, one must always remember that everyone around you is on the same hunt as you, so the real question is, how can you compete with other potential employees? What can you do to stand out in the crowd?
Here are some tips to being a unique, and perfect fit for any company:
Dress for Success.
First impressions are important and your attire should assist you in representing who you are. Your outfit should be professional, conservative, and simple. For men, a formal business suit, neatly trimmed facial hair, and nicely polished shoes. For women, pantsuit attire or skirted suit dress attire, and if decided to go with the skirt, never above the knee. Make-up should be minimal, and conservative colors in nail polish. Your outfit is not the only thing you are wearing, so remember to smile, be approachable, and if an opportunity is given for a handshake, make sure it is firm and confident.
Place Yourself in an Interview.
Each interaction you have with each company, you should have a mindset of being in an interview. Have your resume to give to recruiters, and ask for business cards from the representative you are speaking with directly, because it could be an important tool for an actual interview. Having the opportunity to meet a companies representative is an advantage to stand out, sell yourself, and began to build a professional relationship.
The right questions will show recruiters the thought, research, and time you have put into the company. In addition, it is a good idea to ask questions that you can not find on the companies website. For example, do not ask, “What does your company do?” or “What openings are available?” because these are questions that should of made you interested in the company from the start. Recruiters want to hear questions about the company’s culture and about the work environment to determine if the position would be a good fit for you.
Recruiters are meeting many potential candidates for there company and by following up with who you spoke with, it will help you stand out from others. A ‘thank you’ note that is brief and professional. It should not go on a length about your qualifications because your resume and interaction at the career fair should have covered that. Instead, it is a good chance to show the company that they are a high priority for you, and it will also help the recruiter remember who you are. After a day, send a thank you email, reminding them you spoke at the career fair and if you can, share something specific about your conversation that can trigger their memory.
Career fairs are tough, but it is all about the impression you make. Employers are there to find high potential candidates for their organization, and you want to leave them with the impression that you are that candidate.