How to approach a job fair

2016-02-09 11:06:31 | Uncategorized

This week, on Wednesday 10th February, there will be a job fair taking place in The Forum right outside our office from 10am to 2pm. Some of you may be very comfortable with job fairs and how to approach them, but if you’re not, here are a few tips…

1. Dress smartly

First impressions count for a huge amount, and if you are dressed smartly it’ll make you stand out compared with those who haven’t made an effort. Employers will see a smart professional appearance as a reflection of what sort of employee you will be.

2. Do your research

Find out what companies will be represented at the job fair. Job fairs will advertise online, in venues and in local newspapers in advance because they want as many people as possible to attend, and often they will list some of the companies attending.

3. Be prepared!

This is as important as appearance in terms of first impressions. Firstly it makes sense to take CVs with you, so print these out in advance of the day and keep them flat by taking them in a folder or plastic wallet – crumpled CVs just make you look like you don’t care about getting a job. Secondly have a good idea of what sort of jobs you’re looking for so that you know what to talk to employers about. If you come across as indecisive when they are speaking to you about their roles they won’t think you’re serious about working with them. So, for example, if you know before you go to the job fair that you would be happy working in either retail or cleaning, you know to talk to any employers advertising these types of jobs. Thirdly, keep an open mind. If an employer is advertising something you hadn’t considered previously, rather than dismissing it instantly find out more about it. There might even be a taster day you could attend before committing to it.

4. Be assertive!

This one can take a little practice. By assertive, we mean being confident to approach and talk to employers, which can be very daunting, but it’s the best way to make the most of the job fair. This is something we practice with our young people at MINT regularly – your MINT job coach can also attend the fair with you. But you could also practice with family or friends, or even in real life situations like speaking to a Retail Assistant when you’re shopping. Remember that the employers you’re talking to want employees and you may well have the exact skills they’re looking for, so it should be a balanced and comfortable conversation.

So good luck with the job fair this week, hopefully these tips will help. Let us know how you get on!

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