It seems that Career Fair Season is upon us again. Actually, depending on your particular career choice, recruiters may be looking for you any time during the year. As an etiquette consultant who routinely prepares job candidates, I’m often interviewed by local news media about this topic–which was the case recently. (Video) I always stress the importance of following a few simple rules. Consequently, if looking for a job or internship at the next career fair, please read on.
Take it seriously and do your homework!
This just may be a formal interview for a real job or internship so take the job/career fair seriously. Know what companies will be there. Find out what the companies are working on and what they are doing so you can ask pertinent questions. If you want a certain type of job, know what that job entails.
Dress the part!
Employers want employees that fit into their particular corporate culture. Therefore, dress the part and look as if you already fit in.
Turn off the cell phone!
Recruiters have shared with me that many times job candidates lose out merely because of their cell phones. Job candidates often forget to turn them off and some will even answer their phones. At that point, the recruiter is no longer interested. Don’t make that mistake!
Get a babysitter
I know it can be tough, especially for single parents. Nevertheless, it is best to arrive alone. Taking non-essential people to the job fair sends a negative message. It could imply that you may not be able to get to work regularly. Yes, it may not be fair. However, it is all about perceptions.
Body language and people skills matter
Employers are looking for employees with excellent people skills. So, use your best body language, posture and manners. Be assertive, but be very polite.
Asking questions is a good thing
When it appears that your time with the recruiter – your mini-interview — is wrapping up, ask pertinent questions demonstrating how much you know about the company and/or the position. Use what you learned when you researched the company. You just may dazzle them.
More by this contributor
First Person: Three Important Steps in Preparing for the Interview
First Person: How to Prepare for Your Interview
First Person: What Three Qualities Do Interviewers Look for During the Interview?