5 tips for attending a job fair

Cassie Ouellette, Special to The County
1 year ago

The last time Northern Maine Community College hosted its annual job fair — known for being the largest in The County — was in 2019, before COVID-19. This year, I’m honored to be in charge of bringing back this important event. 

Since many of us haven’t been exposed to these types of interactive professional events for several years, I want to share some simple tips to help you feel comfortable and confident if you decide to attend on March 23. We certainly hope to see you there. 

Research companies in advance

Knowing which companies are planning to attend will help you navigate the job fair and make the most of your time. In the days leading up to the event, NMCC will post the different employers attending on the college’s Facebook page and website. 

Knowing what a company does, the types of positions they have open, and other company details will help you have intelligent conversations with recruiters. Asking good questions will help you stand out as an informed candidate. 

Prepare your introduction

One guarantee with networking at a job fair is that you will have to introduce yourself. When a recruiter says, “Tell me about yourself,” could you describe your background and what type of job interests you in just a few sentences? 

How would you answer the question, “Why do you want to work for this company?” Practicing makes a difference.

Dress to impress

Plan to make a good first impression by wearing clean, professional attire. Keep jewelry, makeup, accessories and scented perfume/cologne light and simple. 

Dressing professionally helps demonstrate confidence and keeps the focus on your conversation rather than your outfit. 

Remember manners matter

Prior experience and credentials are only part of the hiring process; showcase your people skills when interacting with others. Be friendly and enthusiastic. Do not interrupt others’ conversations; wait patiently or circle back to them later. 

Also, do not monopolize the recruiters’ time when others are waiting. Thank them and follow up with an email, phone call or application shortly after the job fair. 

Bring your resume

While many job applications are now online, bringing physical copies of your resume is a good way to get your name into the hands of potential employers. Later, employers can learn more about your skills and experience by reading your resume. 

Building, editing, and revising your resume also helps you prepare to recall your qualifications when you talk with recruiters. 

If you have any questions about attending the NMCC Job Fair, which will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 23, please email me at ncouelle@nmcc.edu. More than 50 employers are eager to meet you.

Cassie Ouellette is a student support career specialist at Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle.