Job fair: The other Side of the Table

This is not a hunk of baloney designed to make you feel better. It really can be easier to be the job seeker at a job fair then on the other side of the table. Yes I get it, if you are attending a job fair you probably really need a job and are starting to feel desperate but do not let them intimidate you.
In my blog Job Fair …Not…..I wrote about attending a job fair as a hiring manager. When you are on the job seeking side of the table you only have to keep your game face on while talking to the recruiters at the booths of your choice. When you are on the other side of the table you have to keep your game face on all day while talking to job candidates with their pants on the ground, nose rings, tongue piercings, and the seemingly lack of ability to speak a coherent sentence.
Now use this to your advantage. Walk up to the recruiter smile, shake their hand and introduce yourself. Pretend you are the host of the gathering and make them feel welcome. Trust me, this gets their attention. If you are not interested in the jobs they are offering ask if they ever have jobs in (whatever your field of interest is). If they say yes and refer you to their web site thank them. Ask  the best way to get your resume noticed by the recruiter when a job is posted. Ask for any other tips they can offer to help you in your search at their company. Trust me; most recruiters will answer your questions if for no other reason than to feel less guilty about how few jobs they are offering.
Another tip I have for you is to use your time in line at each booth productively. Watch and listen. I noticed one or two taking some resumes but not others. When I got close I realized they were taking resumes from some people even though the jobs posted were not a fit. This is a chance for you to get into the system two ways. If they take your resume make sure to ask if you can submit a new one that is more tailored to their company. Ask who the hiring manager for that department will be. If they give you a name, business card, and a recruiter referral feel good about your visit! Smile and thank the person very much. Follow up with the people they told you to and by all means send the recruiter a thank you e-mail for taking the extra time with you. That company may still not have a job for you but if they do you will be remembered and you never know; the hiring manager could know someone at another company and will pass your resume along.

is | Topic: Journal | Tags: ,

One Comment, Comment or Ping

  1. Liz Haller


    Hi Darby
    Good advice regarding the Job Fair. Did you have any luck?
    I have been applying all kinds of places…no responses so far.

    28 Mar