Job fairs can be a great way to network with employers and learn about job opportunities, but it can be challenging to know how to get noticed and be memorable. It can be overwhelming to deal with many employers all in one spot, but if you have a plan and prepare, you’ll be able to approach them with confidence. Make a positive first impression on employers by following these steps for introducing yourself at a job fair:
Research Ahead of Time
Job fairs typically post a list of employers expected to attend, so research ahead of time to narrow down the employers that most interest you. Knowing what employers you’ll be dealing with will help you focus and be able to prepare your introductions better.
Focus on Your Body Language
First impressions are partially formed before you even say much of anything. Start your introduction off on a strong note by focusing on conveying confidence through your body language. Smile, make eye contact, and give a firm handshake as you meet employers at the job fair.
Deliver Your Pitch
A pitch is essentially a few sentences that concisely describes who you are, and your work background and goals. Don’t go to a job fair until you have developed your pitch and practiced delivering it. A well-thought out pitch will make employers remember you as professional and an effective communicator.
Ask Thoughtful Questions
Hiring managers are often drawn to the prospects that seem the most enthusiastic about working for them. Show that you’re sincerely interested by asking thoughtful questions about the company or the role as you’re introducing yourself at a job fair. Don’t ask self-serving questions, such as about compensation, but rather about things like their mission or what it takes to succeed there.
Have Materials Ready
Once you’ve given your introduction and made a bit of small conversation, keep the momentum going by having your application materials, such as your resume or business card, ready to give out. This makes the most of your memorable first impression, since the company representative can have your materials on hand to jog their memory after.
Get Their Contact Information
Don’t feel like you have to be passive and wait for employers from a job fair to reach back out to you. Be proactive and don’t leave without politely asking for their contact information. Follow up within the next day or so by sending a LinkedIn request or brief email, letting them know it was nice to meet them and that you would be appreciative if they would keep you in mind for any openings.
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