10 tips to make the most of a career fair

April 1, 2019

Carter Dyson

If you’re a job seeker, one of the most valuable benefits of a career fair is the rare opportunity to speak directly to employers who are hiring. It’s a chance to make an impression, and in some cases get an on-the-spot interview. Career fairs are also a way for you to learn information about a company that might not be in its job postings or on its website.

Multiple employers throughout our region are hosting upcoming career fairs, often at KCC-LT locations, or are planning to participate in other community-wide fairs.

At KCC-LT, we encourage job seekers to take advantage of these events, but we want to help each job seeker make their career fair visit count. Here are 10 tips for making the most of career fair.

1. Find out in advance which participating employers hire people with your skills and create a list of target employers. Research these companies in advance, learn about the products or services they offer and consider how your skills meet their needs.

2. Prepare questions in advance. Don’t miss an opportunity to learn about what matters most to you. Plus, asking thoughtful questions helps you build rapport with employers.

3. Practice your elevator speech. In approximately 30 seconds ¬– the length of an elevator ride – tell an employer who you are, what you do and why you are the right person for the job.

4. Don’t expect an on-site job interview, but be prepared.

5. Don’t rush. Give yourself time to speak with each of your target employers.

6. Dress professionally. No matter the job you’re after, your appearance matters. Make sure your clothing is clean, pressed and modest.

7. Bring several copies of your resume. If you need assistance creating or polishing a resume, contact KCC-LT for no-cost, individualized assistance.

8. Take notes. In addition to resumes, be sure to bring pen and paper so you can jot down names, contact information and notes about your conversations. Also be sure to get business cards when possible.

9. Show employers that you are genuinely interested in working for their company by introducing yourself, shaking hands and making eye contact. Listen carefully and offer relevant information about your skills and career objectives.

10. Because you took notes and asked for business cards, you’ll be ready for this last tip. Send a thank you note or email to each target employer. Remind them of who you are, express your interest in their company and thank them for their time.

For more information about no-cost services such as resume writing assistance and job interview preparation, go to www.ltcareercenter.org or visit the career center nearest you.

Carter Dyson is One Stop Director for Kentucky Career Center – Lincoln Trail, which is overseen by the Lincoln Trail Workforce Development Board and serves Breckinridge, Grayson, Hardin, LaRue, Marion, Meade, Nelson and Washington counties.

The Kentucky Career Center – Lincoln Trail helps match job seekers with local employment and training opportunities. Our business solutions team offers employers of all sizes and industries personalized support to build a competitive workforce. We are an equal opportunity employer.
Program is funded with Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Title I funds through the Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet and the Lincoln Trail Workforce Development Board.
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