However, be aware that at the Jobs Fair you may meet and talk to your next employer.
It is not common for firm job offers to be made on the day of a Jobs Fair. However, employers are there because they are looking out for people they can potentially employ.
Bring a copy of your résumé to hand to employers as a job offer may come afterwards if they like what they see and you make a good impression.
Come dressed like you would for an interview
What you wear is important. Be aware that employers really do notice details like untidy clothes, and some complain about wrinkled ties, scuffed shoes, inappropriate jewellery or body piercings.
Research the companies attending the Jobs Fair
Companies frequently say that applicants didn’t make the effort or take the time to learn about their business and what it is seeking.
Make sure you know something about an organisation and the types of positions they hire for. It is easier than people imagine; review the list of companies attending the Jobs Fair and then read their websites.
Ask the right questions
Experts say you should never ask ‘What kind of positions are you hiring for?’ or ‘What is your organisation all about?’ You can find those answers online.
Ask ‘What kind of person are you looking for?’ or ‘What skills or qualifications do you see as important?’
Remember the Jobs Fair is a great networking opportunity
Collect as many business cards as possible and make a good first impression. Those cards can be very useful contacts when open positions are later advertised. You can refer to that connection in a cover letter with your application.
Having a range of employers, employment providers, industry bodies and government agencies all in the one place is a great opportunity. Making individual contact with them all on your own outside a Jobs Fair setting would take weeks or maybe months to achieve.
Be prepared to answer questions about yourself and be enthusiastic
Many employers start with ‘Tell me about yourself’. Be prepared to state your name, a brief statement about yourself, and why you’re interested in the organisation you’re talking to.
If you’re not currently working, say something like, ‘My most recent employment was with…’ and move on by describing your skills or what you learned in that job. Bring a good supply of résumés (spellchecked for mistakes, and no more than 3 pages long), enthusiasm and energy.
Apply online after you meet with any company representatives
While an employer may take your paper résumé at the Jobs Fair, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are the favoured candidate. If you wait until after the Jobs Fair to apply for a job online, use the knowledge you gained from speaking with the recruiter at the Fair.
Follow up by email
Using the business cards you’ve collected, follow up with the representatives and send thank you emails after the Fair. It is a good way for them to recall your interest.
Adapted from ‘Business Insiders Australia’, March 2014.