Ten Tips for Getting the Most out of Job Fairs
I never worry about losing my job. I know I can attend an industry fair and pick up another job anywhere in the world!
Mark, Doha International School Teacher
Job fairs are wonderful things. Dozens of companies are in one place, and they have spent money - possibly a lot of money - to do one thing - to hire you.
Nor do you need to come to Qatar to find a job in Qatar. In fact, the Qatar International Job fair is more targetted towards Qatari nationals (though if you are already in the country is is worth attending.) Instead, cut down your travelling costs and attend one in your country/region.
Some job fairs - especially online ones - allow you to pre-register. If companies are screening resumes prior to the fair this will give you an edge.
2. Come prepared
A lot of job seekers come just to see what is available. Not us! Do your research.
i. Find out the companies who will be there.
Most people don't - so imagine how impressed those companies will be when you display an in-depth knowledge of them during your chat with the HR staff there.
3. Come Equipped
Bring CVs to the show - lots of them. Leave them with the companies you are interested in. Sounds basic, but not everyone does it!
4. Examples of your Work
As with interviews bring samples of your work. I bring screenshots of websites I have designed, and copies of articles I have had published in magazines and newspapers.
With so many job applicants, you may only have two or three minutes to talk about yourself. Prepare it, learn it and rehearse, preferably with a friend who can give you feedback. Don't just think about what you say - concentrate on your stance, firm (but not aggressive) handshake, eye contact, warm smile and body language.
Also remember to prepare some questions of your own. However, do not ask basic questions about the company - this will show that you do not know the company and have not done your research.
8. Think of the future.
Don't cut out companies that you are interested in just because they are recruiting outside your field. If you can, take the time to speak to the interviewer, and tell him:
"I don't feel that my skills and talents are the best match for this job. However, I would really like to work for your company in the future when a suitable position comes up."
You are showing you want to work for the company - but also that you are not desperate enough to take a job that is not right for you AND that you are thinking of the company's needs already. In the future, if a job does come up, you will have the right person to approach, and you will be approaching as an acquaintance rather than as a stranger.
Whether you are going for the current position or not, immediately memorise the interviewer's name and make sure you use the name several times during the course of the interview. (This should be easy if the interviewer has a name tag.)
Of course, also make sure you get the interviewer's business card! (Check out David Chaddock's tips on using business cards in Qatar!)
10. Follow up
Most job seekers do not follow up on interviews - giving you an even bigger advantage. You can follow up with a handwritten letter or an email, but do it quickly. When the interviewer is thinking back to all the people he has seen, you will jump to the fore of his mind - and you have just shown that you have initiative!
International Career Fairs:
To find a job fair, you need to monitor jobs fairs, large newspapers and internet searches. Also try setting up a google alert for job fairs in your country.