Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Navigating a Job Fair

It’s January, and companies are already hiring for next September… what?!? Job fairs are popping up all over Brock and Niagara, but how do you even go about a job fair??

That’s what we’re here for. At CareerZone, we’re your one-stop-shop to help you nail a job - whether it’s an internship, part-time gig, or full-time career. Job fairs may sound intimidating and nerve-racking - but we’ve got you covered. We’ll go through some common questions and offer our advice from career experts on how to walk away from your next job fair EMPLOYED. 

What do I do at a job fair?
A job fair is an excellent opportunity to not only meet several employers all in one central location - but to market yourself. You’ll walk through the doors with about 20 copies of your resume in hand and see rows of booths where different companies and organizations are looking for the perfect candidate (that’s you). When you see the first booth that catches your eye, you’ll stride with confidence to one of the recruitment officers behind the desk and:

1) Introduce yourself
2) shake their hand and
3) say, “I’m interested in applying for a job with your company. Can you tell me more about it?”

This gives you a chance to take a breath, and listen in on what this employer has to offer. After they’ve finished speaking, they may ask the daunting question, “tell me about yourself.” This is where your elevator pitch comes in.

What’s an elevator pitch?
It’s a 1-2 minute presentation about who you are, what experience you have, and what you want to do in your future. An elevator pitch for a student applying to a part-time job might sound like this:

My name is Meg Smith, I’m a second-year Concurrent Education student at Brock, and I’m passionate about education and youth empowerment. I am completing my first placement as a teachers’ assistant, where I work with students 1-1 to develop their math and literacy skills, making them feel more confident in the classroom. I currently work as a cosmetician at Shoppers Drug Mart, which is a job that I love, but I’m looking for a job that is more related to my field as I aspire to become a primary school teacher.

In this pitch, Meg clearly explained what she’s studying in school, what she’s passionate about, what experience she has that’s related to her passion, her current employment, and why she would like to work for this company. 

What are employers looking for?

Confidence. You’ve got this! Maintain eye contact, offer a handshake, show a positive attitude, and thank them for their time.
Preparedness. Practice your elevator pitch and prepare questions beforehand. Have resumes ready to hand out, and don’t forget to ask them for a business card at the end of your conversation with them.
Follow through. After the job fair, send an email to the employers that you’re most interested in and thank them for their time meeting you. This is also an opportunity to request a meeting to discuss job opportunities further and attach a resume and cover letter so that they have a digital copy as well.

What should I wear?
We suggest dressing in business casual. This includes either dress pants or a skirt with a dress shirt or blouse. You may also wear a blazer or cardigan with this outfit, along with closed-toed shoes. See our “Dress for Success Guide” under Student Resources for more information!

When’s the next job fair? 
  • Don’t miss Brock University’s largest job fair - The Experience Expo on January 28, 2020, in the Ian Beddis Jim from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm! 
  • The Employable Expo especially for International Students at Brock is fast approaching on February 5th from 1-3pm! Register on careerzone.brocku.ca
  • Are you graduating soon? Don’t forget to sign-up for Grad Send-Off, happening February 25th! 

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