Job fairs are increasingly becoming an effective tool for recruitment, especially for entry level jobs. Not just another event, job fairs is a two way communication between the recruiters and the aspiring candidate. What gives job fairs an edge over other recruitment procedures is the element of on-the-spot interactivity, and a pool of employments and aspirants. Often people, who attend these fairs, prefer to hop from one stall to another collecting pamphlets and company information. While the effectiveness of this practice is debatable it does give one an option of all under one roof. The key to make the best use of job fairs is little planning and calculated homework to strike the right deal or at least get hold of the right thread. Let’s explore the phenomenon.
Two Way Deal:
Most people perceive job fairs as an acquaintance session’. But it’s important to understand that the best piece of the pie goes to those who take it a step further. These events work in favor of both, the employer as well as aspiring candidates. For corporates it is a quick way of recruitment with a wide range of candidates. Similarly, even for candidates, it is opportunity to evaluate various companies and make an informed choice.
There are three kinds of fairs conducted:
Job Fairs: Job Fairs usually have unrestricted entry. Due to large footfall, employers usually provide information instead of assessing candidates. Therefore the only advantage of such fairs is that you know who is hiring.
Career Fairs: They are generally conducted for students who have cleared class 12. Here students are offered counseling and alternate career paths. These fairs are more course-centric and not job centric.
Employability fairs: In today’s scenario where job demand exceeds supply employability, fair enables candidates to seek appropriate guidance for the right job fitment. A candidate gets a job if they are readily employable or they enroll for a job guaranteed course if they need training to become employable or they just can enroll into a generic employability program, which will coach them to get the right job on their own.
These fairs have their own protocol, and it is important to know how to work your way within this system; you will be surprised by the upshot. Avoid being aloof, do not present yourself as a desperate job seeker. It is important to show genuine interest if you want to catch the employer’s eye. Talk to the personnel at the stall but ask relevant questions. The first impression is definitely the last impression. Remember from the moment you step into a stall or perhaps even before that, the representatives are gauging you. Therefore conduct, personality and body language play a very important role in winning the much needed visibility. Be confident and present yourself as a true professional. You have to ensure that you stand out in the crowd.
So how can you stand out in the crowd and get noticed by potential employers? Now that we know by and large about the expected conduct, let’s explore a few technical aspects that will bring you under the spotlight:
Resume: A resume is the tool to market your skills. Research on what is the desired format for a perfect resume for your level. As a thumb rule, resumes should not exceed one page. While experienced candidates should highlight the relevant experience and technical skill sets, freshers should concentrate on their academic scores and emphasize on their competencies. A letter of recommendation is also equally important. Planning in advance will give you a fair idea of the number of copies of the resume/recommendation letter you will need. Remember to carry a few extra ones.
While the first impression plays a key role, the last impression also does. So before you leave the fair you could perhaps revisit the potential employers you are interested in and wait for a break, and make it a point to convey to the personnel that you are happy to have met them and are genuinely looking forward to a follow up.