I was invited to a job fair at the end of the week and am extremely excited
but nervous as well. I have never been to a job fair so I am unsure what to
expect. The fair is for entry-level ticket-sales positions within the 12 Major
League Soccer teams around the country.
The biggest problem I want to address is how to distinguish myself from
others in such a short more informal than a 1-on-1 interview setting in such
a short time. I am interested in all 12 teams in various locations so I am
extremely open to any suggestions.
The Career Doctor responds:
Job fairs are great tools for job-seekers to make contacts — and possibly
make good enough first impressions to be called in for an onsite interview
with one or more prospective employers.
And you are absolutely correct — you need a strategy for success.
The first thing you need to do is know everything possible about the
requirements and expectations of ticket-sales employees. What are the
key skills these folks need?
Second you need is information on each of the teams. You need to
have information on each one partly to decide if you really would work
for any of them and partly to showcase your knowledge.
Third you need to do is choose your top teams and plan your job-fair strategy.
Fourth you need to do is plan your sales pitch. Some experts refer to
such a pitch as your elevator speech — the same amount of time you have to
sell yourself to someone you meet on an elevator. While the basic pitch may
be the same you will want to tweak it some based on your research of the
teams. Your elevator pitch tells the recruiter exactly why you are better
than all the rest of the folks at the job fair.
You also need to make strong eye contact smile and have a firm
handshake. You should try and establish rapport — even if just for that
Finally be sure and get each recruiter’s business card (contact information) –
and then write a strong follow-up thank you note to each one of them.
Read more about job fair strategies in my article
Keys to Success at Job and Career Fairs.