4 Ways To Get The Most Out Of A Job Fair

U.S. Army Col. Stephanie Rivers, Rear Detachment commander for the 143rd Sustainment Command, speaks with employers during a career expo at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Aug. 5, 2013.

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It’s job fair season, which means that it is prime time for you to get out there and begin selling yourself to companies that are seeking employees with your skills and expertise.

Heading to a job fair can be especially rewarding for those job seekers who are veterans, as it can help them to bridge the gap between their military career and their career in the civilian workforce. But there are some things that every individual considering a trip to a job fair should keep in mind, from preparing for the event to taking steps afterwards to ensure it was worth the time and effort.

1.  Dress to Impress.

First, remember that you are presenting yourself and your skills on the day of the job fair, so you should attend the event with the same professionalism as if you were heading to a job interview. Dress professionally, have resumes ready to hand out, and be prepared to stop and chat with the companies that interest you the most.

2. Do your research.

Speaking of the companies that will be there, remember the importance of doing some research before you attend the event. Know who will be there, decide which companies you want to speak with most, and do a little research on the company (and any potential openings it may have) so you are ready and able to talk shop once you arrive.

3. Expand your options.

There are plenty of job fairs oriented specifically toward veterans, and you are strongly encouraged to head to one of these events. That doesn’t mean that you can’t also find success at any other type of job fair, though – however, you should be prepared to translate some of the items on your resume for potential employers who don’t have experience with the military and who might not understand what some of the details on your resume really mean.

4. Follow up.

Remember how important the follow-up can be. Veterans who are used to the structure and formality of the military may find it strange to send a follow-up email after a brief job fair meet and greet, but this little bit of extra effort lets that employer know just how serious you are about working for his or her company. At the very least, it may make them give you a second look – and at best, it may be the push they need to offer you an interview for the job you want.