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Job Fair Tips For Employers

Connecting with Candidates

Indiana University South Bend students may behave like most other college students at a Career Fair. They may wander around for a while with a friend before deciding to leave. They may feel intimidated and nervous about starting a conversation with a stranger. Our office works hard to help students get the most out of this event. You, as the organizational representative, can do a great deal to generate interest in your organization and have meaningful conversations with our students as well. Below are a few tips that may help you be successful at the Career and Internship Fair.

Preparing

  • Set a goal and design your entire effort around that aim:
    • Recruiting students for full/part time employment or internship positions
    • Sharing personal career information and typical steps to success
    • Introducing a new program or service
    • Enhancing image and gaining name recognition
  • Anticipate problems before the event--be prepared for anything (i.e., internet connection doesn't work, need electrical extension cords, etc.)
  • Take advantage of set-up times during the day - often, the best and most motivated students are waiting at the door and you don't want to be unpacking boxes when they walk by

Display

  • A good exhibit is simply a stage for information exchange - you are the focus, not your exhibit
  • When staff doesn't perform well, it's the booth that communicates
  • Your visual message should give even a casual observer a clear idea of what you do
  • 60% of a person's initial reaction is based on color; 80% choose blue as their favorite:
    • Blue = low key and low stress
    • Yellow = #1 attention grabber
    • Red = high energy
    • Green = comforting (unless its khaki)
    • Orange = cheap, inexpensive
    • Metallic = premium, pricey
    • Black = power
    • White = good buy

Literature

Have brochures on hand, but keep paper to a minimum. You can use handouts to initiate a conversation with students but it should not be your entire presentation. Their opinion of your organization will be based on their interaction with you more than anything else.

Exhibit Staff

  • It's personalities, not the display, that visitors remember.
  • Make a good first impression - students will base their opinion of your organization on YOU. Staff must be very knowledgeable.
  • Know yourself, your position, your organization, and where students may fit into that entire scheme.
  • Visitors are potentially long-term leads; don't expect an immediate "sale." Students will get turned off if you try a "hard sell" with them.
  • Visitors prefer a short, overall view of what you have to offer.
  • Ensure your exhibit is staffed at all times - like it or not, if you are absent, it "shows" you don't care.
  • Avoid eating at your exhibit - it takes away from the "professional" look.
  • Stand; don't sit, at your exhibit. Sitting in the chair behind your exhibit doesn't connote a sense of excitement and a welcoming atmosphere.
  • Wear name tags prominently - we recommend that students try to get your name/title from them.
  • Visit other exhibitors when your shift ends - it is a great way to meet other professionals in your field.

Exhibit

Entertaining exhibits get results - remember, students live in a colorful world of multimedia. If you don't have a wonderful exhibit, it comes down to you to make the right impression.

Questions

  • Don't wait for visitors to approach you - be assertive, friendly and sincere.
  • Ask passers-by friendly, open-ended, yet specific questions such as: "Are you interested a career in finance?" or "Do you want to put your communications skills to work in a great career?"
  • Based on the response, you can separate leads from tire-kickers.

Demonstrations

  • 75% of Career Fair attendees want to see more demonstrations
  • Keep them short and simple, ideally 3 to 5 minutes
  • Students tend to remember what they visualize and participate in, rather than what they hear

Multimedia

Recorded presentations should be no more than 5-10 minutes long. Many students see a Fair as a buffet - they want to explore all their options before getting more in-depth information.

Survival

  • Take brief, brisk walks to keep your feet and back from hurting - visit the refreshment table often!
  • Negotiate for peace with neighbors that have noisy presentations - make it a win-win situation.

After the Fair

Respond to all inquiries personally ASAP to reinforce your good image and to "strike the iron when it is hot."