Whether you’ve just graduated from college or you’re thinking about a career change a career fair, also known as a job fair, is a great place to meet potential employers and to learn about employment opportunities. It’s basically a free way to discover who is hiring in your area and the perfect place to learn about potential careers that have always interested you.
Career fairs are quickly becoming a popular way for both entry-level and experienced candidates to find new jobs, but in order to have a successful experience at a job fair you need to know what to expect.
Here are some career fair questions to ask yourself:
What is a career fair?
A career fair is a scheduled event where local employers offer information and answer questions about their organization to try to recruit new employees. If an employer is there it usually means that they have job openings that need to be filled.
What are the different types of career fairs?
There are three main types of career fairs:
1. Campus-sponsored job fairs – These job fairs are created for college students who are getting ready to graduate and join the work force. They are held on-campus and are often sponsored by a department in the college.
2. Community job fairs - These are often sponsored by a specific community and are free for any organization to attend. You can find just about any type of career covered here.
3. Professional job fairs - These career fairs are geared towards certain professionals, like computer programmers or environmental scientists Though many of the employers are looking for people with experience it is still a good idea to attend one of these
Where are career fairs usually held?
Job fairs and job expos are usually held wherever there is a large space available for employers. The most common places where job fairs are held are college campuses, hotels, convention centers and even shopping malls.
What are the benefits of attending a career fair?
Some benefits of job fairs are:
- They are free
- You can practice dressing for success while there
- You can learn about internship opportunities
- Very convenient – They come to you instead of you going to them
- You can practice positive body language techniques during your interview
- You can talk to more than one employer while you are there
- They usually offer packets with information on company profiles and career profiles
- You may discover other interesting career paths while talking to recruiters
What are the disadvantages of attending a career fair?
Some disadvantages of attending job fairs are:
- They may be overcrowded and noisy
- Long interview lines
- You may have a short “interview” if the recruiter has a lot of prospects at the table
- May not be scheduled on the most convenient day for you
- You may not even get to talk to an employer if they have a long line
Remember, a career fair is a place for you to talk to potential employers and to find out what job openings interest you. The recruiters are there to meet you, so if you go with confidence and ask the right questions you may just find yourself with your future dream job.