You should not overlook job fairs when it comes to finding dental assistant jobs. As an increasingly common means of screening job candidates, it’s important to take job fairs just as seriously as you would a formal interview. Here you’ll encounter many employers looking to find good help for their businesses, and plenty of candidates searching for work.
You want to find the best ways to stand out from the crowd.
- First and foremost, pay attention to your appearance. A recruiter’s time at a job fair will be limited since there is generally a large pool of people with whom to speak. Recruiters will quickly make judgments on you based on appearance, communication skills, and general first impressions.
- Know what you want to say and with whom you want to speak before you arrive. Have an “elevator speech” prepared, career coach Marshall Brown wrote in an article for The Washington Post. You won’t have much time to pique the recruiter’s interest. Think about a couple of your best qualities, or “hot buttons” which will stand out above others with whom the recruiter might speak that day. To make the best use of your time, research what businesses will be represented at the job fair. Be sure to get to those that are of greatest interest to you first.
- Along those lines of advanced preparation, have several copies of your résumé prepared before you go to the job fair. Remember, job fairs aren’t just a chance to see what types of jobs are available where you live, CollegeGrad.com has explained. “They are first interviews where the plain vanilla candidates are stepped on and over by those who are targeted and prepared. Yes, even the two- to three-minute greeting and exchange of sound bites is a real interview.” You want to put your best foot forward. When your time with recruiters is finished, check on ways to follow up with them once the fair is over.
- For all the things you’ll need to remember to do well at a job fair, beware of making some common mistakes as well. For example, you shouldn’t hand your résumé over to the recruiter first thing. Take some time to build a relationship first. Use the elevator speech you have prepared.
- Have the right attitude when you go to the job fair. You aren’t there to find out what a potential employer can do for you, Brown has stated. The recruiter is interested in how you can benefit the organization. Remember, too, that a job fair isn’t the place to speak poorly about your last employer.
- Finally, be brave at the job fair. While it can feel more comfortable to speak with a recruiter as part of a group of colleagues or friends, you won’t help yourself stand out that way. When you speak to someone individually, you’ll boost your chances of helping the recruiter remember you.
Last Updated: 02/25/2013