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.
- 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
- 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
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
- 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."