On a recent Tuesday in Sacramento, more than 20 companies held a job fair aimed at filling 900 positions. That may seem like a lot, but as the local News10 reports, hundreds of jobseekers turned up, which means competition was fierce. How do you stand out from the pack? Reporter Gabrielle Karol made the rounds and asked recruiters to share insights, which formed the basis for “6 Tips for Getting Hired at a Job Fair.” Read on for a summary of what she learned.
1. Make a Strong First Impression — According to David Hudson of Titan Insurance, it’s all in the approach. He can sum up a good candidate within seconds, so be sure to smile, have a strong handshake, and be prepared to hand over a resume. And it doesn’t hurt to wear some professional attire, even if it’s not required.
2. Don’t Worry So Much About Experience — It’s not necessarily about degrees and experience. Try to land a job with Colonial Life, says company rep Darryl Vidor, and the idea is to sell yourself as someone looking for a change and a new challenge.
3. Show Some Energy — If you’re at a job fair, it’s possible you’ve been seeking work for some time. You may be discouraged, but don’t show it. SolarCity’s Jeff DeGroot says he’s “looking for someone with energy, somebody with a drive,” He adds, “And somebody that can just show some passion for what we do.”
4. Illustrate Stories With Experience — Trying to demonstrate you’re a strong leader or a good problem solver? Don’t simply say so; use stories from your past jobs to illustrate those skills.
5. Be Ready for Tough Questions — If there are gaps in your resume, be ready to explain them. Employers don’t always like to see such things, but if you were, say, caring for a sick relative, you’ve got a valid reason for being out of the game.
6. Mention Special Skills — In a town like Sacramento (and really, everywhere), being bilingual is important, so it pays to mention the ability to speak other languages. The same goes for many other special talents and skills, so be sure to bring them to the recruiters attention.