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Two Tips on Job Fair Etiquette

We hear and read tons of information on the do’s and don’ts when interviewing.  Did you know that many of the same practices carry over to job fair etiquette?  We recently attended a job fair and were flabbergasted by what we observed. 

 Though many job seekers were in full suits and dressed appropriately, in some cases, their actions muted their professional appearance. 

Tip #1:  As soon as you walk into a job fair be mindful of your actions.  You are on display to your next poetential employer.  Regardless if you are talking directly with a company representative or a friend in line make sure that you are always professional.  Your body language and verbal communication may be the first impression that drowns out your very nicely pressed suit and tie… make sure to make it a great one.

Even though your diction when talking to friends may be different when you are at work many people directly relate a person’s speech to their intelligence and professionalism.  Keep in mind that depending on the culture of the company you are applying to certain things are more or less acceptable.  So how do you know? Do your research on the company before you get there.  With most job fairs a public posting of the company vendors will be available. 

Okay, so we got tip number one down. We also saw those that had AMAZING resumes but their attire was simply inappropriate.  Which brings us to tip number two.

Tip #2:  Many companies do in fact offer on the spot interviews at job fairs whether it be formal or informal.  Dress to impress.  Expect that on the spot interview that can land your next career.  Always remember that dressing professionally doesn’t necessarily mean a new outfit that breaks the bank.  Afterall you are, potentially, unemployed.  Keep it clean, pressed and neat.  If you feel that you simply don’t have anything interview, aka job fair, ready you should look into charitable programs in the area that offer interview training and clothing for FREE or at incredibly low prices… they do exist.  Take a look at the photo examples below.

Remember:

First impressions are formed in 7 seconds. 38% of a first impression is based on inflection and tone of voice (how you say things), 7% is based on what you actually say, and a whopping 55% of a first impression comes from NONVERBAL cues! In short, more than half of every first impression is based on how you look!

Wear bold colors. Blues and red are power colors that can be impressive in the interviewing process. Do not wear anything revealing and wear something that YOU feel comfortable in.

A lot of what you should wear to an interview depends on what industry you’re trying to get a job in! There is the conservative look, artsy, fashionable…

Ask yourself when looking for interview outfits:

  • What position are you interviewing for?
  • Is it low, medium or high-level?
  • What industry is the job in?

In addition to these two aforementioned tips remember to be prepared for your job fair.  Bring plenty of resumes and have them available in a nice folder.  Keep a pen and notepad handy to write down any additional information.  Always ask for a business card from contacts at companies that you are interested in for follow up.  Follow up with potential employers within 48 hours.  Arrive early.  You may have a long line to compete with.  Expect the best from job fairs but keep in mind when they advertise over 100 vendors participating they are including colleges recruiting students and local community assistance organizations as well.

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