À l’échelle humaine: Job Fairs I

2016-2017 Issue 1

IMG_3981New ways to network

Whether you are a seasoned local professional, a transitioning newcomer or a proactive student, you have likely encountered and participated in major networking and employment events called job fairs. These large-scale activities are a staple of post-secondary institutions, industry-specific associations and international recruitment missions.

Here are some insights and tips to ensure you get the most out of a job fair experience.

Why Do Employers Attend?

It is first useful to understand and consider employers’ motivations in taking part:
– To increase their visibility and exposure among potential applicants
– To highlight their workplace culture and maximize engagement
– To reach a broad qualified audience if they are looking to hire “in bulk”
– To find that “rare gem” with specific skillsets that is eluding them in simply posting online
– Finally, employers may also take the opportunity to gauge their own competition and network with the other employers present.

Why Should I Attend?

As a candidate, you must weigh the potential opportunities of a job fair against the investment required in preparing, attending and following. Keep in mind job fairs allow you to:
– Broaden your horizons: you may discover new companies you hadn’t heard of before;
– Explore industry hiring practices: you have the opportunity to ask questions and see what skillsets they’re looking for, so that you can be more strategic in your formal candidacy process later on;
– See what sectors and organizations are on the lookout for talent, what justifies their great staffing needs and what they’re offering to attract applicants to their employer brand;
– Practice your elevator pitch – where else can you have a mini mock interview session with 10, 20, if not 50 real-life willful simulators?
– Pursue a specific company that receives an enormous amount of interest from applicants
– Stand out from the competition. Meeting in person means you are no longer an anonymous name on a piece of paper; you are a unique individual with professional experience and a memorable personality. This is an especially strong argument if you are pursuing a professional transition or alternative career path with transferable soft and hard skills to put forth;
– Engage in networking with other participants with likely insights and a network of their own.

Job fairs remain a common, effective outreach and talent acquisition mechanism in most industries today. Although the trend in some sectors is to revisit this format online through social media, a great deal of employers still see distinct advantages in taking part, and therefore so should you. That is, provided that you prepare!

Join us in two weeks’ time as we coach you through it.

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