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How to succeed at a job fair
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How to succeed at a job fair


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  • When you submit a resume on –line or by mail, the resume is the job seeker’s ability to make a good first impression. What do you look for when the person is face-to-face with you at the job fair?
  • Business owners consider “soft skills” to be some of the most important items that job seekers possess, since job skills could be taught. What do you do during the brief encounter at a job fair to assess a person’s soft skills?
  • As an employer what do you do if a job seeker presents you a resume for a position that you do not have open? Should they leave it for future reference?
  • Part of the Illinois workNet system is helping dislocated workers transition from one career to a new one.  Often we provide training for that individual into a new career path. For example a 20 year veteran widget welder who just completed X-ray technician training. What is the best way for someone with a long work history in former career position themselves with their newly trained, but no experience, job search?
  • Our next webinar is scheduled for March 5 1PM March 6 10AM
  • Transcript

    • 1. How to Succeed at a Job FairQuestions and Answers with Human Resource Professionals Illinois workNet WebinarJoin the conversation on Twitter with #ILworkNet or #jobfair
    • 2. Meet our Presenters Laurie Huspen – President Valuable Resources, Co. since 2003 A successful entrepreneur, author of “Unveiled”, speaker, university instructor, and board member forStroke Survivors Empowering Each Other (SSEEO). Nancy Clausen – HR DirectorLaurie holds a Masters degree in HR Management and trained SplashNet Xpressin Six Sigma. Being personally affected by adverse HR policies,she became an advocate of companies and employee rightsand established VRC in 2003 and published, “Unveiled” in A Human Resources Professional, Nancy demonstrates her abilities2010. currently with a wholesale company in St. Charles Illinois that employs a vast array of individuals from warehouse to designers.She has over 15 years of experience in human resources, withexpertise in employee retention, strategic planning and Nancy has worked in service, retail, e-commerce, healthcare,execution of the HR foundation for growing businesses. manufacturing and distribution with both non-union and union cultures.My specialty is working on-site withclients. This allows me to fully SplashNet Xpress is the home of Blue Wave pool and spaunderstand my client(s)’ needs and of their business to influencestrategies to increase their return on Illinois workNet Job Fair Webinar Twitter - #ILworkNet or #jobfair
    • 3. Meet our Presenters Sylvia Wetzel – Chief Learning Officer Mohamed Faheem -Director Bison Gear & Engineering Corp. Business & Career Services, Inc. Bison Gear is a manufacturer of electric motors, gearmotors and reducers located in Mohammed Faheem is the Director of St. Charles, Illinois. Ms. Wetzel joined Business Employer Solutions and CorporateBison in 1994, where her career has encompassed Relations for Business andMarketing, Information Technology, International Strategy and Corporate Career Services operator of the Illinois workNet Center in ArlingtonTraining and Development. Heights.Ms. Wetzel is also very devoted to pursuing social awareness issues Mohammed is a widely recognized motivational speaker and creatorand is President of BisonCares, a 501C3 nonprofit whose mission is to of the “Power Employment Workshops” presented every monthfacilitate a set of responsive initiatives for the well being of local and across Northwest Chicago in 14 different locations. He is alsoglobal communities. In 2007 BisonCares was awarded the St. Charles recognized for implementing cutting edge business processchamber of Commerce civic Image Award in recognition of its reengineering and social media strategies for market penetration andhumanitarian efforts. societal change.She serves as Public Policy Representative for Bison in Washington He has a Masters degree in Communication andDC and brings expertise to the NAM’s policy development in work Journalism and over 25 years experience inforce development and health care. She was a founding member of business consulting, radio, marketing, publictheir Women in Manufacturing initiative. relations, and Illinois workNet Job Fair Webinar Twitter - #ILworkNet or #jobfair
    • 4. Meet our Guides Dee Reinhardt – Natasha Telger – President Illinois workNet Time2Mrkt A social media strategist, Dee helps solopreneurs and small business optimize their digital presence.Dee began her marketing and social media journey with a local Integration and Training Coordinator with Southernworkforce agency. In 2011, she began her consulting business, Illinois University in Carbondale. Natasha providesand has been teaching, coaching, implementing and Illinois workNet integration and training assistancemaintaining ever since. to workforce partners who help Illinois residents reach their training and employment goals.Always looking for new ways to advance an organizationsmarketing efforts, when social media came into the arena, Dee www.illinoisworknet.comjumped on the challenge of learning all of the aspects andbecame certified in 2010.Her business, Time2Mrkt, Inc.helps guide businesses throughthe sometimes treacherous watersof social media to help them makethe best use of their time Illinois workNet Job Fair Webinar Twitter - #ILworkNet or #jobfair
    • 5. What to expect at Job Fair?• Two types – employer hosted vs. multi-employer• Virtual vs. live• Networking vs. interview situation• Log into – Register as a user – Receive updates about events happening in your area. Illinois workNet Job Fair Webinar Twitter - #ILworkNet or #jobfair
    • 6. When you as an employer go to a job fair, what are some of your goals?• Branding of our organization and sourcing of suitable candidates for open and future positions.• Getting the message out about manufacturing• Attracting young people to well paying careers in manufacturing• Communicating the importance to them about Math, Problem Solving, Reading and the NCRC• Find new Talent for our Organization• Find the right person – determine in advance what the right person is. Typically looking for more than one person for an open position• Herding vs. hiring• To get a feel for the types and quality of the candidates at that fair to determine future attendance• To find qualified candidates for open positions and leads for future openings Illinois workNet Job Fair Webinar Twitter - #ILworkNet or #jobfair
    • 7. What should a job seeker do prior to the job fair to be properly prepared?• The job seeker should visit the employer’s website and come prepared with a targeted resume for specific job positions that match his skills, experience and background.• Proper resume and plenty of copies of it.• Appropriate appearance, engage in conversation, know about the companies that are at the job fair, their mission statement, and culture to know if you would want to work for them• Think about what they plan to wear, business formal is always the best way to go, unless circumstances don’t allow it. Make sure that whatever it is, it is clean and wrinkle free. Nothing is worse than when the person shows up in wrinkled attire.• Think about not only the questions you might be asked but, what is your ideal job, what do you hope to accomplish at this job fair.• Unless you are applying for an art or designer position, never wear a lot of bling, shorts, or flip flops, if you are in business dress ensure that socks & shoes match the attire. Illinois workNet Job Fair Webinar Twitter - #ILworkNet or #jobfair
    • 8. What do you look for when the person is face- to-face with you at the job fair?• Attitude, appearance and personality• Good Communication skills, Dressed neatly, eye contact, and desire & motivation.• Hygiene, appearance, how they hold themselves – confidence, professionalism, drive to get the position.• Appearance – are they put together, well groomed, how organized are they with their materials – this shows they take care of themselves and some of their organizational characteristics and how they might handle projects and the work load• Personality and Energy - are they comfortable, do they look at you when they talk about their skills and abilities, are their answers intelligent and given in quick and easy flow, or do they take a lot of time to think about it, or seemed to be using “stock” answers.• Are they pushy – Don’t keep trying to sell yourself Career Fairs are a meet in greet, not time for a formal interview.• Don’t be over Chatty, present yourself, clearly concisely and honestly. Illinois workNet Job Fair Webinar Twitter - #ILworkNet or #jobfair
    • 9. What do you do during the brief encounter at a job fair to assess a person’s soft skills?• A job fair only allows a brief opportunity to assess verbal and non- verbal communication skills.• Good Communication skills, Dressed neatly, eye contact, and desire and motivation.• How they answer questions, yea vs. yes.• If they respond when asked how they are doing, if they ask the question back in return.• Eye contact, Good handshake, Smile• Ask the candidate a specific question that will tell me about the skills for which I am looking. Illinois workNet Job Fair Webinar Twitter - #ILworkNet or #jobfair
    • 10. Should participants be prepared to fill out an application?• Yes• Always• No• No applications take a long time, and you may miss meeting with potential companies if you were to stop and fill out an application for each potential employer, Candidates should have a resume with their name, address, phone number and e-mail address. Illinois workNet Job Fair Webinar Twitter - #ILworkNet or #jobfair
    • 11. What questions should an attendee be prepared to discuss "on the spot"?• What do you know about our company/product/service• Why should we hire you• What is your availability to come in for an interview• Experience, credentials and desire.• What type of position are you looking for?• Do you have a resume with you?• What are you currently doing/are you currently working?• Are you looking for full-time/part-time/ internship?• When are you expected to graduate?• What specifically are you looking for?• Their skills and be prepared to back up the level of those skills with examples.• Why should I hire you over everyone else here?• What are you bringing to the table? Illinois workNet Job Fair Webinar Twitter - #ILworkNet or #jobfair
    • 12. What if a job seeker presents a resume for a position that you do not have open?• It would be better if they apply on-line. Paper resumes are not something that we would hold on to.• Certainly• Be up front and honest that there is not an opening, see if they are interested and QUALIFIED to apply for the position available.• An employer may always keep/or ask for a resume, and a candidate may always leave their resume. But you don’t want to have a candidate complete an application if there is not an open position.• The career fair is like a networking event. For example think of it like this: A resume is as if you were accepting their business card. An application is more of the proposal that a client is hiring specifically for a project they need.• Yes, absolutely, if a great candidate crosses your path, keep it you never know when you might have the right opening. And to both the employer and the employee I would recommend keeping in touch. Illinois workNet Job Fair Webinar Twitter - #ILworkNet or #jobfair
    • 13. How should a newly graduated incumbent worker position their job search?• They should show some volunteer experience, preferably in the new career field to prove they have been productively engaged during their transition period. Classroom skills alone will not help in the hiring decision.• Have a resume reflecting the experience and be prepared to discuss the desire to put that experience to use in a new career path.• Intern positions Illinois workNet Job Fair Webinar Twitter - #ILworkNet or #jobfair
    • 14. What type of questions would you expect a job seeker to ask you at a job fair?• Is this a new position for which you are hiring?• When does this position start?• What is my next step?• How can I contact you after today to follow up?• What openings are available.• What sort of credentials do you recognize or do I need• Do you train for positions.• GENERAL questions about compensation ranges & benefits Illinois workNet Job Fair Webinar Twitter - #ILworkNet or #jobfair
    • 15. What should job seekers not ask?• How much does this job pay?• Is there an opportunity to work part-time?• How many day’s vacation can I get? How soon do they start?• Compensation• Ask what the hours and workdays are and then ask if they can alter them to fit their schedule.• How much longer their boss will be in the position, so they can move up. Illinois workNet Job Fair Webinar Twitter - #ILworkNet or #jobfair
    • 16. What type of “next steps” do you provide to the job seeker at your booth?• Give the contact information for the recruiter or hiring manager and tell the job seeker to expect a call for a formal interview.• Have them go on-line and fill in a job application and take any required screening tests.• Go to our website and familiarize yourself with our company.• If you have the NCRC or the MSSC bring them with you when you come to our company to fill out a job application.• We let them know what the follow-up will be, depending on the type of career fair. Whether we will schedule interviews on campus in the next following days, or be contacting them during the next week to set up interviews. Illinois workNet Job Fair Webinar Twitter - #ILworkNet or #jobfair
    • 17. Who should follow-up first? And how?• The job seeker should always follow-up by email or a phone call.• We should follow up with possible candidates. However, if they didn’t bring a resume it would be okay to have them follow-up by providing one first.• It is appropriate for the candidate to follow up first. Personally, I like a thank you through snail mail rather than email. Just a personal thing, but it is appropriate to send an email thanking them for their time and expressing their interest.• Depending upon the size of the organization, in general the employer should follow-up first. If it is a larger company with a big recruiting department, then feel free to contact them.• Please remember that often a recruiter may have been out of the office for a period of time at career fairs, and will be inundated with e-mails, voice mails and issues. Please be patient giving them at minimum a week before you start calling. Illinois workNet Job Fair Webinar Twitter - #ILworkNet or #jobfair
    • 18. Thank You for Attending• Watch for the post of this webinar on –• Watch for information on our upcoming webinars on our social media links: Illinois workNet Job Fair Webinar Twitter - #ILworkNet or #jobfair
    • 19. Illinois workNet Job Fair Webinar Twitter - #ILworkNet or #jobfair
    • 20. What is your typical routine at a job fair?• Booth set up and walk through to scope out the other employers.• HR & Marketing Staff may attend• Talk to the person to find out what they want to do, honesty to determine whether it is actually the right position,• Arrive at least one hour before, set-up, review the list of other exhibitors to determine who may be competing for the same talent, then walk around to check them out.• Stand out in front of the table rather then behind whenever possible. Illinois workNet Job Fair Webinar Twitter - #ILworkNet or #jobfair
    • 21. Should a job seeker expect to be hired on the spot?• No, Career fairs are short meet and great type situations. Both the employer and the employee should want to take the time for a more formal interview and discussion of the position, the skills and the company. Before a decision is made. In rare circumstances do I ever extend an immediate job offer. Illinois workNet Job Fair Webinar Twitter - #ILworkNet or #jobfair
    • 22. What happens on the employer end after the job fair?• A list of qualified candidates is generated and passed on to the hiring managers/hr staff to initiate contact with the candidates.• The employer would follow-up on possible strong candidates.• Within a few days, the HR dept will go through the resumes received and follow up with a phone call or email to further the hiring process. The HR department may send a letter to a candidate who is not qualified to wish them good luck in their endeavors.• Review resumes the evening of the career fair while the memories are still fresh, sort and organize them. Those with the best fit and would choose to interview more in-depth, I contact within two-three days after the career fair. Those that are currently not a fit, receive a thank you for their interest within a week of the career fair. Illinois workNet Job Fair Webinar Twitter - #ILworkNet or #jobfair