Job Fairs, Seminars, and Webinars
Job fairs, seminars, and webinars are organized events where job seekers can attend in-person or online with recruiters and employers to get employment and company information and discuss job openings. Most fairs, seminars, and webinars are held for these two primary purposes:
- To connect job seekers with specific companies and employment opportunities
- To connect employers and recruiters with a large pool of potential candidates
Attending a job fair enables you to build your professional network. At job fairs you can meet with and talk to employers in order to gain valuable insight into their company, understand their needs and job openings, and create and solidify employment leads.
When planning to attend a job fair, check to see if you need to register. Most job fairs have registration deadlines. Be sure to register by the deadline to not miss out on employment opportunities.
Preparing for the Job Fair
When you prepare for a job fair, plan to dress professionally and have plenty of polished and printed resumes to hand out. Approach your job fair experience as one long, exciting job interview. Although you most likely will not be offered a job on the spot, the way you present yourself at a job fair may give you the opportunity to leave a lasting impression on a hiring manager or recruiter and just may get you a foot in the door.
Before the job fair, you should spend time researching the companies that will be participating at the job fair. Create a list of those companies you are interested in and start gathering information each one. Scour their website, read published articles and social media content about the organization, and ask your friends or family what they know about the company. Your goal is to find out what their company is about, what products and services they offer, what kind of culture they have, what their hiring process is like, and most of all, which companies have job openings that align with your interests and career goals.
Once you have your list of companies, make a list of general, company, and industry specific questions to ask their company recruiters and employers while at the job fair. Bring paper and pen with you to the job fair in order to take notes. Be prepared to ask follow-up questions and to respond to questions that they may ask.
At the Job Fair
While at the job fair, collect pamphlets, business cards, and contact information of the people you meet. If possible and appropriate, try to secure a time to personally interview with representatives from the companies that you are most excited about.
Keep in mind that each person you meet at a job fair is a valuable networking opportunity, even networking with other job fair attendees has the potential to result in a job lead.
After the Job Fair
After the job fair, you can make yourself memorable by sending thank you notes to each of the employers and recruiters you connected with. Remember that you are writing a note, not a cover letter. Make it short, to the point, professional, and add a bit of your own personality. You can also try to integrate references to the conversation you had with the employer while at the job fair. This will help them remember who you are. In the note, you should also express your interest in any open positions you may have discussed while at the job fair. Close by specifically mentioning how your skills and experience would help meet their company needs and suggest a possible meeting, interview, or next step.
Job Seminars and Webinars
Job seminars and webinars come in many forms, yet a seminar is typically in-person and a webinar is done online. Although it is online, it is important to approach a job webinar with the same manner and level of seriousness as a job seminar. This is especially the case with webinars that offer opportunities for live chat sessions or one-on-one discussions with potential employers.
During job seminars, you may also have the opportunity to give out your resume, so be sure to bring updated and printed copies of your resume with you. Job webinars may also give you the chance to upload a digital resume and exchange email communications with the human resources department at the company or companies you are interested in.
Some seminars and webinars are in a presentation-only format and are filled with live or online presentations that convey information about possible jobs, the company, and how to make contact with the employer. Although not meant for making direct network connections, these sessions and can be very informative about a specific industry, career, or company.