Want to Attend a Job Fair in Westchester? Here’s How to Get Ready

Communications professional Sherry Bruck shares advice on how to prepare for upcoming job fairs and present yourself to prospective employers.

Unemployment rates are at a record low, which translates to a labor shortage for many organizations. Employers are on the hunt for staff and are consistently holding job fairs — both virtual and on-site — where they can meet with a high number of job candidates face to face to expedite the hiring process. This is great news for job seekers, as they too get to meet with multiple employers in a short period of time, rather than uploading a resume to an anonymous online portal.

Here are some best-practice tips to prepare yourself to leverage the opportunities:

  • Register for the job fair and do your homework: Most job fairs ask for registration ahead of time and will post the attending organizations. Research the employer(s) before getting to the job fair — check their websites for job openings and descriptions, and social platforms for company culture, employee photos, etc.
  • Be strategic: Many job fairs feature multiple employers, and it will be important to prioritize the ones that best fit your skills and career goals, so you can properly prepare and maximize your time at the event.

People talking at a career session

- Advertisement -
  • Prepare multiple versions of your resume: There may be multiple employers and job openings that fit your skillsets, so be prepared to tweak your resume to mimic the language of the job descriptions. Proofread your resume carefully and check for grammatical errors, as nothing ruins an opportunity faster than a glaring typo. Also, bring plenty of copies of your resume.
  • Groom and dress appropriately: This doesn’t necessarily mean wear a suit, but it does mean look professional. For men, a pressed and collared shirt, a blazer or sweater, tailored pants, possibly a tie. For women, a clean, crisp blouse and blazer over pants or a skirt. Stay away from overpowering perfume and colognes. Now is not the time to be trendy or risqué. Err on the side of understated.
  • Practice your pitch: Practice a short pitch about yourself and your skills until you can give it comfortably and conversationally. You must be able to quickly introduce yourself, your experience, the kind of work you are seeking, and how you will be an asset to the organization. Remember, this is not just about what you want. Be employer-centric, not self-centric.
  • Be succinct: Most job fairs are for a limited timeframe, so tell your story succinctly and don’t monopolize a recruiter’s time, especially if there is a line for that table. If you can’t get to all the employers of your choice, quickly circle to all the tables to collect business cards or flyers to contact them at a later date.
  • Network: A job fair is also a social and networking event. Be friendly, respectful, and open to meeting people. Take names and contact information from the recruiters at the exhibiting tables. Make notes of the conversations, as it’s easy to get confused and forget details the next day.

Job fair in Westchester

  • Be prepared to apply online: Some employers require candidates to apply online, even at a job fair. Make sure to get the correct url path and ask the recruiters to demonstrate how to get to the portal. It’s not always intuitive.
  • Practice and test technology: For virtual job fairs, it’s important to practice and prepare to use the technology tools ahead of time to make sure there are no technical glitches with your audio and video settings. Find a quiet space, use headphones, blur your background, and use a desktop computer if possible, as controls are easier to access. You don’t want to be fumbling around and apologizing in front of a potential employer. There are many regular virtual job fairs and ongoing hiring events. For example, the NYS Department of Labor holds a Hudson Valley Regional Career Fair the third Thursday of every month. They also hold a preview day for job seekers to become familiar with the web interface and the exhibiting employers. Visit easyvirtualfair.com/index.html for the upcoming schedule.
  • Be proactive and follow up: If a connection is made with an employer that is promising, request an interview and ask for a date and time. You may even luck out right then and there, so be ready to interview on the spot and leverage an opportunity. Be prepared to follow up on anything promising.

Job fairs provide a unique opportunity to jump the website application portal line and meet recruiters face to face. It may be a job seeker’s job market, but the strategy for connecting with an employer and landing an offer doesn’t change. It’s smart to be as prepared as possible.

About Sherry Bruck:

Sherry Bruck is a communications professional who specializes in propelling her clients’ brand through all means available — blogs, e-blast, social media, print, website, advertising, and public relations. She is owner and creative director of Harquin, a marketing and branding agency founded in 1992. You can reach her at sbruck@harquin.com.

Stay up to date on upcoming job fairs here.

- Partner Content -

Related: The Art of Crafting an Effective Resume in Westchester

Our Healthcare Heroes Awards event takes place on May 9!

Our Westchester Home Builders Awards take place on April 4!

Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Forum is March 14!

Unveiled: A Boutique Bridal Brunch is February 25!

Our Best of Westchester Elimination Ballot is open through March 6!

Holiday flash sale ... subscribe and save 50%

Limited time offer. New subscribers only.