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Guidelines Job Seekers

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Job Fair Participation Guidelines for Job Seekers

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Guidelines Job Seekers

  1. 1. SHRME JOB FAIR 2009 OCTOBER 30, 2009 Date: October 30, 2009 Venue: Sheraton Addis, Lalibela Ballroom WHAT ARE JOB FAIRS? Job fairs are unique events where both candidates and companies/organizations have the chance to meet face to face and interact on career opportunities. This allows both the recruiter and the candidate to pre-screen each other. The Socitiy of Human Resource Management in Ethiopia (SHRME) Job Fairs 2009 is the premier recruitment events in Ethiopia connecting the regions top employers with highly qualified and active job seekers. However, most of the work is done before you even go through the doors. There are several ways to make the most of your time on the job fair floor and beat your competitors. Simply follow the to-do check list below. PLANNING FOR THE JOB FAIR Job Fairs are excellent places to learn, network and land a job. Plan in advance and your Job Fair visit will be worthwhile. Things to do before the Job Fair 1. Be sure to investigate all participating companies in advance. When possible, obtain a list of these companies from the fair organizers, and begin to research about six to ten companies that may be of particular interest to you. In making your decision, consider the type of candidates sought, company location, company reputation, etc. 2. Once you've drawn up your list, do some research on these companies on the worldwide web or through directly contacting the company/organization. You should be looking at: What’s the company’s strategy for growth? How can you fit in? 3. Your next step is to check out your own communication tool for the fair, your resume. Be sure to give it a once-over to make sure that it highlights and showcases your skills in a professional and concise way for the job you are seeking. If it doesn't, revise it in advance of your visit to the job fair. Then write a cover letter and attach it to your resume. Slip the letter, your resume and your business card (if you have one) into a letter sized envelope, ready to take with you to the Job Fair. 4. Now it's time to put both items together. For each company that you have researched information on, write down the basic details obtained. Next to this information, list some skills, qualifications, achievements, or specialized training from your resume that would match the company's "ideal" candidate. Example: XYZ Corporation - Manufacture and sell office products and equipment - 550 employees - Family owned and operated with a strong commitment to customer service - Looking for sales professionals - Five year’s outside sales experience and a degree in marketing; worked in retail, and have strong letters of recommendation for courtesy to customers. 5. Plan to take at least 25 crisp resumes to the Job Fair. Bring a pen, pencil, and notepad, and organize it all in a nice briefcase or portfolio. 6. Before the Job Fair, prepare to interview on the spot, summary style in a few minutes or less. In other words, be prepared to quickly sell your skills, talents and experiences. It's better to politely side-step up-front salary discussions if you can. But have a salary figure in mind, just in case your interview advances to the salary stage.
  2. 2. Things to do while at the Job Fair 1. Arrive a few minutes early at the job fair, to register if required and plan your method of approach. Pick up a booth map if available, and route your path to the employers you've targeted. If a job list is available, check it, just in case employers added new jobs since you last researched. Give yourself at least one and a half hours to talk with prospective employers. Dress sharp, act professional, be confident and display enthusiasm. 2. Visit your targeted employers first with a resume in hand and spend some ‘quality time’ with each. Keep your talk concise - your total time spent with a recruiter should not be more than eight to ten minutes. Remember that they have many more job seekers waiting, so don't try to hog all their time or be offended if they cut it short. However, if a recruiter is busy talking to other candidates, look for another targeted company whose table is free. The trick is to minimize waiting in line, and maximize talking with prospective employers. Once you’ve talked with the recruiters of your targeted companies, talk with other employers’ representatives if time allows. By doing so, you can often uncover information about certain companies and jobs that you were unaware of prior to the job fair. 3. Be sure to shake hands with the recruiter and introduce yourself. Provide them with a copy of your resume to look over, along with your references, or any letters of recommendation you may have. As they review your resume, describe your background and qualifications. Make this a brief, to the point presentation recapping your skills and abilities as per your preparation before the Job Fair (see point 4, things to do before the Job Fair). 4. Also prepare to fill out a job application on the spot. Unless you're otherwise directed, it's best to turn it in right away. Taking it home first allows your better-prepared competitors to beat you to it. 5. Job Fairs tend to be more casual than formal interviews, so you can relax and be more friendly. But also "read the mood" of the employer's representative with whom you're speaking at the moment, and adjust your style accordingly. Even though it's more casual, attire, body language, manners and other interview professionalisms still count. 6. To wrap up, thank the recruiter for their time, express an interest in a more formal interview in the future, and ask for a business card / contact details of the company / organization. 7. Finally, take one last tour of the area before you leave, and stop by the tables of any recruiters who had been especially helpful or interested in your background. Reintroduce yourself, remind them of your earlier meeting, and repeat your interest in scheduling to meet with them at a later date. Things to do after the Job Fair 1. Track to which employers you’ve submitted your resume at the Job Fair, so that you do not redundantly resubmit it too soon. It's a good idea to jot down other notes too, right after you talk with each representative. This will help you to stay consistent, in case you land a follow-up interview with the same person. 2. Follow up within 24-48 hours with a thank you letter to each of the representatives with whom you spoke. It's courteous, professional and typically expected, even after casual job fairs. Complying might make you stand out in their minds, to help you land follow-up interviews. 3. Regularly visit the sites of employers that interest you, as they may have new openings after the Job Fair. However, do not overflow employers with your resume, as it will appear that you are unorganized and not keeping track. One resume in three to six months is enough. If you want to know what’s going on with your resume, or if you see a new position, send a follow-up letter or a letter of inquiry instead. The employer will let you know if you should submit your resume again. NOTE: Stay focused when you attend the Job Fair to be sure you get what you want out of it. Do not fall into the trap of getting distracted by other people you may want to run into at the Fair if they are not in a position to help you get a job.
  3. 3. Make sure to follow-up with written notes to the representatives you meet. Call each representative and if you got on well with one, then ask to meet for a cup of coffee. It’s another form of networking that will work in your favor.

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