job fair success

How to succeed at a job fair

posted in: Job Seekers, Students, Youth | 0

Each month we host job fairs and hiring events at our branches to help job seekers connect with employers who are actively hiring in the community. Attendees get the chance to meet the hiring manager and are often presented with the opportunity for on-the-spot interviews.

You can register for upcoming job fairs or hiring events here:

The difference between job fairs and hiring events:

  • Hiring events typically have one employer who is hiring for multiple positions
  • Job fairs are typically held when more than one employer will be on-site

If you’re thinking of attending a job fair, you might have some questions about what to expect and what you can do to make the most of the experience. We’ve put together some tips to help you succeed:

1. Be prepared

The best way to get ready for job fairs and hiring events is to prepare your resume. Make sure to print and bring a few extra copies of your resume with you to the event.

Unlike a typical interview, the employer will likely not have seen your resume beforehand. So, it’s important that your resume is clear and easy to scan. Your resume is also the main way for the employer to get in touch if they need to contact you later. Set aside some time before the event to review your resume and make sure all your contact details are correct.

Contact us if you need help preparing your resume.

2. Be professional

One of your main goals for job fairs and hiring events should be to leave a good impression with the employer. Because time is limited, the best way to do this is to be professional. By being professional, you’re letting the employer know that you can be trusted to represent their company and handle difficult situations.

Make sure you’re dressed appropriately for a job interview and that your body language is open and confident. Don’t be late and do your best to not look bored, distracted or uninterested.

Contact us for more tips on being professional in job interviews.

3. Be flexible

Job fairs and hiring events can have a slightly different format than a traditional interview and you won’t necessarily know what the format will be until you get there. Some of the different interview styles that you might encounter include:

Pre-screening interviews – If an employer is planning to hire but is unable to attend the event they may ask the VPI branch staff to conduct pre-screening interviews on their behalf. The VPI staff member will pass along their recommendations to the employer who will schedule follow-up interviews.

Group interviews – Sometimes employers will conduct an interview with a group of candidates rather than a single candidate. Although it is not a traditional interview format, it can be useful for certain jobs where working as part of a team is an important skill.

One-on-one interviews – This is the typical interview format where one candidate sits down with the employer and answer questions. But at a hiring event, even this format can be a bit different. Depending on the space, there might be multiple interviews going on in the same room or you may be on a schedule as the employer has several interviews to conduct.

Whatever the format of the event, try not to get flustered and be ready for anything.

4. Pay attention and build your network

The reality is that even if you do everything right, you may not end up with an offer. But a job fair can still be a valuable experience.

Job fairs and hiring events are a great way to get more familiar with the hiring process, in general. Especially if you have not had many interviews in the past, these events can help you get comfortable with talking to employers and talking about yourself.

These events are an opportunity to expand your network. Chances are you will meet other job seekers who have similar interests, or who are in a similar situation to you. Try to be friendly and to make as many connections as you can. You never know who may be able to help you (or who you may be able to help) with your job search in the future.

You’ll also have the chance to meet VPI branch staff who can let you know about other upcoming job fairs, programs, services and opportunities.

If you would like to attend any of our upcoming job fairs, visit our online calendar: