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Information and Guidelines
50 Tips for Job Seekers


Job Fair Evaluation

For more information contact
Dane Matthew (303) 567-4822

Information and Guidelines

The Clear Creek County Job Fair sponsored by the Clear Creek Metropolitan Recreation District is an event where a number of employers and job seekers come together for the purpose of applying and interviewing for jobs. Also, job seekers can gather company information, find out about various industries, and develop networks at Job Fairs.

This is a single day affair held in the Sampler Mill Recreation Center. Each company/business will have a table that displays company brochures and information. Each table will have one or more company representatives to talk with about job opportunities or the company/business in general.  Even this small Job Fair can be a busy event with lines of job seekers waiting to see company representatives.

This Job fair will provide job seekers a quick and convenient means to apply with several companies/businesses and to get immediate interviews. Viewed this way, a Job Fair is a giant interview session. Companies/businesses participate in Job Fairs for one main reason – to screen candidates for existing or future job openings. Each time you approach a company’s booth, you are entering the spotlight and being evaluated as a potential employee. After waiting in line (for as long as 15 to 30 minutes) you'll have only 1-2 minutes to speak to the employer as you’re greeted and your resume is collected. The employer’s screening process will continue only if you make a strong first impression. So your 2 minutes in the spotlight must be favorable and memorable.

You should remember that employers are investing time and resources to participate in the Job Fair. Unless job seekers do their homework, they waste their own time and the time of employers. Employers appreciate job seekers who are prepared and have a professional attitude. Job seekers appreciate company representatives who are easy to approach and have clear answers to their questions. If both sides prepare adequately, Job Fairs can be great successes for everyone!

What can you realistically expect from a Job Fair? You can certainly obtain company and career information. You may even get an interview at the Job Fair. However, your goal is to get ‘in-house’ interviews at companies shortly after the Job Fair (within 1-2 weeks). Be advised - it’s unlikely you’ll walk away from the Job Fair with a new job.

Advance planning and preparation are keys to your success at Job Fairs. You need to be at your very best at Job Fairs – ALWAYS! If you are to succeed at Job Fairs, you must have an assertive and structured approach. To this end, you are encouraged to read, know, and practice the following tips for Job Fair success.

Optimizing Your Success at Job Fairs - 50 Tips for Job Seekers

Before the Job Fair

  1. Take the Job Fair seriously! You’re making important first impressions. Employers remember only a few of the hundreds of job seekers they meet at the Fair.
  2. Check with CCMRD a week prior to the Job Fair for a listing of employers that will be participating at the Fair.
  3. Research the companies that interest you. Learn who the companies are and what they do. (Check company websites if available.)
  4. Be prepared to make cogent conversation and ask relevant / timely questions to employers (this will make you an interesting and memorable applicant).
  5. Create a one-minute ‘commercial’ about yourself. Your ‘commercial’ should explain:
    1. who you are,
    2. your qualifications and accomplishments,
    3. special skills and values that set you apart from other applicants, and
    4. one or two specific examples of what you could do to solve actual company problems (how you could benefit the company).

Practice your ‘commercial’ out loud to feel comfortable. Your delivery of the commercial (confident and enthusiastic, yet natural) is perhaps more important than the content of your commercial. YOUR OBJECTIVE IS TO SAY ONE TRULY MEMORABLE THING TO EMPLOYERS!

  1. Resumes – tailor your resume to the specific job(s) you’re applying for. (If you’re uncertain about the quality and content of your resume, visit a counselor at your LEC) Take sufficient copies of your resume to the job fair. Make sure your resumes are crisp and clean.
  2. If there’s potential for on-the-spot interviewing or hiring at the Fair, take reference letters and cover letters, and assemble a professional portfolio (that contains examples of work and accomplishments).
  3. Be prepared to answer questions. Review standard interview questions and formulate your responses.
  4. Prepare questions to ask employers: what opportunities and available; what are the responsibilities; what skills are companies seeking in candidates?
  5. Make a prioritized list of employers you’d like to meet with at the Job Fair (this is your target list)
  6. Plan your strategy. Visit booths first that interest you the most (when your energy is high and you’re at your best). Do not wonder or roam! Present yourself with a purpose. Don’t be shy – be prepared!
  7. Take pens and paper.
  8. Dress for success! Dress in a manner for the job you’re applying for (e.g., construction job applicants need not wear suit and tie). Be well groomed. Treat the Job Fair like any job interview.
  9. Set realistic expectations. Few job seekers are hired on-the-spot at Job Fairs. Be prepared to follow up on promising leads.
  10. Block sufficient time in your schedule to attend the Job Fair. Make preparations to arrive on time.

At the Job Fair

  1. Some experts suggest to arrive early or late at the Job Fair. (The first and last people are often remembered while the ones in between become a blur.)
  2. Check-in at the registration table. Get a copy of the job fair layout, the employer participation list, and drop off a copy of your resume (if this service is available). Find booth locations of your targeted employers.
  3. Briskly (but attentively) walk through the entire job fair. Scope-out employers you want to talk to. Observe which employers are busy and which aren’t. Make special note of employers that are conducting secondary interviews, either at their booth or in another location (these are the employers who are serious about hiring). Identify the person conducting secondary interviews and seek that person out!
  4. Get a feeling for the entire Job Fair. Then, go and sit for a few moments to compose yourself and to finalize your ‘plan of attack’!

Approach your targeted companies:

  1. From a distance (about 2 meters away), observe and listen to employers interacting with other applicants. Listen to what the employer is asking. Figure out who is in charge. What happens to the resumes (are there multiple resume piles, does anyone write on them)?
  2. Determine the highest level employer-representative in the booth. Seek this person out.
  3. While waiting in line, review information about the employer you’re approaching.
  4. As you approach the table, respect other people’s privacy as they complete their interaction with the employer.

When you meet with an employer:

  1. Give an award winning SMILE!
  2. Greet each employer with a firm handshake. Make eye contact! Be polite!
  3. Introduce yourself. Look confident!
  4. State why you have chosen this employer.
  5. Try to remember the employer’s name. Glance at a nametag.
  6. Show interest. State briefly what you like about the company.
  7. Deliver your ‘one-minute commercial’ (that you developed in step 5 above). Be sensitive to the timing and situation before using your ‘commercial’ – adapt it as the circumstance dictates.
  8. Listen carefully to what the employer says. The room may be noisy and busy, but don’t be distracted. Focus, focus, focus!
  9. Ask questions (the questions you prepared in step 7 above).
  10. Answer questions directly, politely, and concisely. REMEMBER THE GOAL IS TO BE ASKED BACK FOR AN ‘IN-HOUSE’ INTERVIEW.
  11. Ask about the application procedure and hiring process. What’s the timeframe? Is there a convenient time to call to follow up?
  12. Do NOT ask questions about salary and benefits (wait until later for these type of questions).
  13. Request a business card or obtain a contact name, phone number, fax, and email address. Take brochures or informational materials that are available at the booth.
  14. Don’t let promotional ‘freebies’ on the table distract you and do not grab at them.
  15. Thank each employer for their time.
  16. If you’re given an application form, take time to fill it out neatly and completely. Remember the way you fill out the application is in itself an example of your work.
  17. Conduct your self professionally at all times. You are ‘on stage’ even as you stand in line or move about the Fair area.
  18. Stay fresh! Job Fairs can be exhausting. If you start to get tired, take a break.
  19. Network with other job seekers at the Fair. Share leads, resources, and ideas.
  20. Keep a list of the employers you meet. Make notes about each company and your conversation with each representative.

After the Job Fair

  1. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done!
  2. Review your notes from the Job Fair. Evaluate what you think went well and what you can improve for the next Job Fair or interview.
  3. Write personalized thank-you letters to companies that interest you. Cite something specific from your discussion. Try to send letters out within two days after the Job Fair. It’s okay to enclose a resume with your thank-you letter. This may draw attention to your name once again.
  4. Call to make sure the company received your application materials if you don’t hear from them in two weeks after the Job Fair. At this time you can check on the status of the position and offer to come in for an interview.
  5. Continue to research the companies that interest you. Treat the Job Fair as an initial contact, not the last.
  6. Keep accurate records of your contacts, including dates of your letters or telephone calls, and copies of all application materials that you send.

Final Tip

  1. Focus on learning as much as you can about what employers are looking for in the people they hire. The primary benefit of participation in the Fair is to collect information and make contacts.