Career fair as a meeting
Each year the number of career fairs grows, and with them the opportunities - so-called "networking". First communication between employers and potential employees is so accessible and easy. However, this grow, the competition and tension if we can get to the right candidate or to dream employer. But why not look at the situation a little more relaxed, more confident and more prepared.
Career fair as speed dating
What exactly are the career fairs? They are a form of "professional speed dating"? You get a chance to talk to a large number of companies, potential employers and in a short time frame to get the essence of the necessary information, but only so is the time that you can stand out. Everything can fail, but hope to find "the one" (at least for now) they are prompted to put your tie / lipstick, you smile widely and walk out the door.
As in speed dating, the career fair has rules, too. This is not a place where you only tour the stands following tips for good interview and carry an CV. Of course, that's part of the adventure, but it does not end here.
It is important to master some skills in networking or in other words - to "professional flirt." Create contacts, presentation and listen to other people you represent. Tell more suitable for the company joke, exchanging business cards / phone / email and do not forget to write on interesting. Basically, it is ... but not quite.
I'll share my "networking" tricks for career fair, specifying that each situation is specific and it is rather the main ideas, but you must remember and fine tuning according to the situation.
A "front" usually speak tirelessly with all companies. Therefore, my advice is to stay active side, but before that take some time at home to prepare - research who will attend the exhibition, what does the company loosen her site for information and pictures of Executive Directors to know their profiles, and to know what they look like if they detect them in place.
My goal is usually to spend at least 2-3 minutes every booth. Even if you are not interested in the field of operation of a company it is important for me to create contact. At some point I may not be interested in the industry, but a year or two, five, ten, can exactly be right where I wanted to unwind.
These short conversations that trying to conduct, can surprisingly also lead to this to kindle something new and not least, may be the beginning of a new friendship. Just because someone is in the role of employer, and your candidate does not mean that in purely human terms can not meet someone terribly motivating, interesting interlocutor.
Fresh as a cucumber
Always be careful not to sound bored, but your voice does not tremble. The confidence that I ignited with that first exchange of smiles can quickly subsides after I told her about the academic and relatively short experience about 10 times. The concern began to seep between the handshake, the challenge to keep the listener's attention is great. I try not to forget that even I can hear their story about the 66th time this against me hears it first. Therefore there is no need to change much, only as much as you are still interesting for you and able to fill the holes through which drips stress.
Food and professional flirt
One of the most important slots networking is lunch / after-party. There you have the opportunity in an informal setting to meet with both visitors came with the same goal as yours, and with representatives of the companies more closely. What gives you that? At one point they collected interesting and educated young people like you and me, with the same dreams, similar interests and similar anguish. What better time to create new acquaintances, many of which may develop into friendships and even business partnerships? I have noticed that the career fair is a place where people gather with ambitions and topics for conversation. What else? You can drink a cup of coffee / wine with representatives of companies, which eventually would like to work. A great way to understand more about the company's culture, what people hire and how you would fit in the team. And this is really invaluable information!
Table for homework
Once you've collected business cards, emails, phones, I spent well, because I talked to different people and I feel inspired professionally go home. There sit on your laptop and synthesize all meetings (at least most of it) in a ... table. It sounds scary, but it is quick and easy, especially while it is fresh. Writing down the names of as many people (same evening after the event I guarantee I remember three times more than the next morning), record their contact details, how I met them (visitor or exhibitor) and brief comments if I have any ( as general interest, inspiration, etc.). Such practice will create a database that then use to thank many people who have spent time with you and tell you about their experiences, and to keep contact with those who find particularly inspiring .