The anonymous, newly unemployed personal finance blogger behind Well-Heeled with a Mission put together a timely, helpful guide on how to avoid wasting your time at job fairs and actually come away with the experience with some positives rather than feel as though you’ve wasted your time in a cattle call.
Well-Heeled advises you prepare exhaustively for the fair, boning up on the top two or three companies that interest you, focusing on them at the fair, then following up with short, polite e-mails afterward.
The key to it all, she writes, are knowing what you’re getting into before you head out into the fray. Here are her top three pre-fair preparation tips:
1. Determine if this job fair is worth your time and effort. Look at the requirements for attendance – for example, some fairs require a 4-year degree, others don’t. Some fairs are specialized (i.e. teaching professionals or high-tech workers only), others are general. Look at the location (is it 15 minutes away? 3 hours away?).
2. Go over the company list and pick 2-3 companies that are your top choices.
3. Spend 30-40 minutes researching your top choices, particularly on any programs / specific functions you are interested in. Spend another 10-15 minutes studying a few other companies that you are interested in.
She follows up with some key advice to avoid getting a speeding ticket on the way home. It’s advice she says she learned the hard way last week.
Do you have any additional advice for job fair navigating or job seeking in general?