How to Prepare to attend Career Shows

Friday Oct. 29th, 10 AM – 5 PM  &  SAT OCT 30, 10 AM – 4 PM   BMO CENTRE, STAMPEDE PARK

A career show or fair is a great opportunity to gather educational & career development information as well as an opportunity to meet face to face with many potential employers/recruiters if you are in job search mode.

So how does a person prepare to attend a Career Show as part of their job search?

1. Do Your Research

Before attending the career show, identify which of the participating employers booths are of priority interest to you and conduct a preliminary research about the companies products and services. Most participating companies have websites you can check out ahead of time. Being knowledgeable about the company portrays a genuine interest. Be sure that the type of job position you are seeking is related to what the company may hire for.

2. Resume Writing

Update and polish up your resume. You may choose to get professional assistance from a Career Coach in either developing your resume and/or having it checked over before making many printed copies to handout to various employers. Where possible, customize your resume to meet the specific needs of each company and position better. It’s important to be honest on your resume, to include accomplishments without embellishing. Also, ensure resumes are free from grammatical and typographical errors. Print resumes using quality paper.

Note: The Calgary Career Show offers a resume critique booth for quick critiques

3. Dress the Part

If you are attending the career show as part of your job search then you need to dress the part. Wear clothing appropriate to the type of position you are seeking when you are meeting potential employers. The rule of thumb is to dress a notch above what you would normally be expected to wear on a day to day basis while performing the job duties.

4. Allow Enough Time

Get a good night’s sleep before attending a career show so you have enough energy. Arriving first thing in the morning may be better as the exhibitors will not have tired from meeting with so many people yet and may have more time to spend with you. Allocate enough time to meet with everyone on your priority list.

5. Display a Positive Attitude

It’s important when you are meeting with the booth’s representatives that you appear confident that you can make a positive contribution if you were to be hired into their company. Show up prepared and enthusiastic. Greet people with a smile, a direct greeting and a firm handshake. Be courteous, remembering common courtesies such as please and thank you.

6. Practice Good Communication Skills

Introduce yourself using eye contact while greeting the booth’s representative. Note the representative’s name from their name tag or ask their name and use it in your conversation when possible. Be prepared to introduce yourself in as little as 30 seconds in the case of a busy booth . It’s important that you clearly relate how your education and/or experience and accomplishments match with positions the company may be hiring for. Given more time, talk about the main points regarding what you know about the company and ask pertinent questions related to your career interests and goals/position you are seeking. Ask if you may leave your resume.

7. Trade Business Cards

It’s a good idea to develop business cards to hand out along with your resumes. Also request one from the booth’s representative before you leave so you can follow up with them. Close by shaking hands, thanking them for their time and reiterating your interest in working for their company. Let them know that you look forward to hearing from the company in the near future.

8. Follow Up

Send a thankyou note or email to the company representative, preferrably within 48 hours to one week after meeting with them. The sooner the better to ensure that they remember you. Besides thanking them for their time in meeting with you, you can reiterate your strong points (skills etc.) and emphasize your match with the specific needs they are looking for. Send a customized resume if you did not already submit one . Finally, check in with the company in a couple of weeks for any new opportunities.

9. Maintain that Positive Attitude

Maintaining self-confidence is important during a worksearch. Keep your thoughts positive, take care of yourself and continue to network until you are successful.

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