SHARE   |   Monday, 25 April 2016   |   By Isang Lekhutile

Plenty of people believe career fairs are obsolete, a thing of the past and after attending one of the local university career fair my view changed. Career Expo, Recruitment Event whatever you call it, a career fair is a roomful of mutual potential employers looking for new hires, and job hunters hoping to be hired. Unlike more conventional job search methods, career fairs guarantee a receptive audience for your resume and personal sales pitch. But your warm reception won’t last long if you aren’t professional, presentable, and well prepared. Employers inform students on what they’ll need to know about career paths, employer expectations and professional opportunities. Participating in a collective gathering with other job seekers and multiple employers in the same room will allow you to discover several things that you can use to improve your chances of landing the job you truly desire.

Attending career fairs is a way for prospective hires to find out the qualifications employers are seeking for particular jobs. Career fair events are highly popular in the eyes of both employers and potential employees. To aid the recruitment, application, and networking process, job fairs and training expos are held all over the world in various locations. This is an ingenious way to meet the needs of both employers and potential employees. The purpose of this career fair is to provide you with the “tools” and resources to make important and valuable career decisions. During the Career Fair, you will take your “first steps” toward meaningful employment by meeting with employers face to face to exchange information. Graduating students and alumni will have opportunities to network with employers and apply for professional employment. Keep in mind that career fairs should be just one small part of your entire job search process; however, they can be a successful part.

With the job markets in constant flux, the time that you take to effectively secure the right position should be well used. What can you do to ensure that you effectively use your time and experience the maximum impact? Consider attending a career fair in your area. Why attend a career fair? There are many positive reasons to take the time to prepare for, and attend a career fair. The number one benefit of career fairs is that it is a great opportunity to network with prospective employers. Networking with employers is crucial during a job fair. Employers are more likely to hire those that they would want to work with, so be friendly, professional, and polite.  In addition attending a career fair allows you to network with other job seekers who may know of companies that are hiring for individuals with your skill set. Attending a career fair will offer hands on practice for those looking to expand upon their ability to quickly build rapport with employers, and field interview questions without having time to prep.  However, preparing yourself with basic answers to the most obvious questions is important because you never know when an employer will like what they see on your resume and want to interview you on the spot.

Career fairs are a free resource for you to discover which employers are hiring and interested in your skill set in a cost effective, efficient manner. Free resources are hard to come by in this day and age, and some recruiting companies have even reverted back to charging job seekers a fee to find them a job instead of charging an employer. Free events, especially those that provide learning opportunities such as a career fair, should be attended as frequently as possible until you land the right job. Employers that participate in a career fair develop strong brand awareness among job seekers, students, staff, and even other employers. Strong visual displays draw people in and numerous employers have stated that building brand awareness is a key component of participating in these public events. Moreover, by participating, companies get their names, logos, and websites attached to marketing materials sent out by university career centers and other organizations that host career fairs. In conclusion, there will be few other times in your life when employers will make such a concerted bid to get your attention. So when they participate in a nearby career fair, make the most of the opportunity to present yourself favourably, gather useful information and meet new contacts.