… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

Career Fairs: Part 3

At long last, I bring you part 3 in my 3 part series: Career Fair Impossible. Earlier this year, I offered advice to job seekers on how to get the most out of Career Fairs. Last month, I followed that post up with advice for Recruiters on how to do the same thing. Now, I want to offer up advice to Career Fair organizers.

Let me make it clear, I’ve never worked for a College career center nor have I ever organized a career fair myself. But as an attendee, both as a recruiter and a job seeker, I know what I like and what makes attending an event worthwhile.

So, from the person who has to stand on her feet for hours attempting to engage with your students and job seekers, here is what I recommend:

1. Communicate. From start to finish make sure that every detail is clear. Dates, cost, parking, location, shipping, contact info, etc. And day of, be sure you have enough helpers to provide directions, set up, check in, and answer questions. You want to make it easy and straight forward for all attendees.

2. Comfort. Now I know sometimes organizers cannot completely control their locations and space, but there are many ways to make an event comfortable. Provide food and drinks, air conditioning/heat, wifi, and even comfy chairs go a long way towards making an event better. I don’t need free swag like a drink cozy, but I would love a Diet Coke.

3. Volume. When planning your event, be sure that you have the volume of attendees for not only the number of companies you invite but also for the length of the event. I don’t want to stand around for 5 hours if I leave with only 20 resumes. And if I have to practically tackle attendees as they walk by to have someone to talk to I likely won’t be back.

4. Connection. Make it easy for your attendees to connect with the employers and vice versa. Provide resume books or access to the resumes online. Have computers available for attendees to apply for jobs on-site. Give attendees maps and company lists/descriptions so that they know which employers are attending, what they do, and even who they are looking for.

5. Preparation. Do right by your attendees and make sure that they are prepared. The best college career fair I attend not only preps their students resumes, expectations, and pitches, they will not even let them in the room until they go through an inspection to make sure they have come prepared and are dressed professionally. Let me just say that the quality of candidates I see is much higher than comparable schools.

6. Do More. If you are going to gather a lot of job seekers and employers in one place, why not offer them more? Networking events, employer panels, interview rooms, resume and career advisers, and for colleges be sure you are introducing employers to teachers and Deans.

Whew, and with that let’s bring this blog series to a close. Overall, I’m a fan of career fairs and I’ve found a lot of great hires at them. Anything that can help bring job seekers and employers together so that people can get back to work is a big win in my book. Best of luck and see you out there!

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