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  • Lori Jazvac, Certified Resume Strategist

Job Fairs: An Opportunity to Network with Over 50 Employers

In my earlier administrative career, I utilized various job search methods, but also attended local job fairs in downtown Hamilton. I landed an interview with a recruiter which led to a challenging administrative role.

A job fair offers a convenient forum for interfacing with many different employers under one roof, talking to other jobseekers, and exchanging valuable information and leads. It’s all about prospecting rewarding career opportunities and networking to advance. It’s quite interactive and productive.

Catering to Jobseekers’ Diverse Needs

Job fairs are beneficial for students seeking new co-op or internship opportunities, recent alumni looking for full-time jobs, and experienced professionals searching for career advancement or transition to advanced roles.

In addition to employer booths, many job fairs nowadays offer LinkedIn photo stations and presentations on current career-related topics. If you have ever attended job fairs in Hamilton, you may be familiar with meeting with employers at popular exhibits – McMaster University, Mohawk College, Redeemer University College, and even Workforce Planning Hamilton and Hamilton Economic Development. Opportunities are available in both the private and public sector.

When you walk into a job fair, you will be immersed in lots of networking and busy activity occurring – the search for the ideal role and the ideal company. Many are on a quest to even find their dream job. Employers have their own booths with informative literature that offers information about their company or organization and different roles. From management to trades, engineering, labour, and administration, you can expect a wide scope of fields and industries that meet jobseekers’ needs.

If you have an entrepreneurial mindset, you can expect to find exciting roles as an independent contractor, business owner, or consultant. Well-known agencies and recruiters are always on the lookout for the perfect candidate due to expanding their business, needing qualified staffing, or accommodating their candidate pool whenever the need arises. Many employers in non-profit organizations aim to raise awareness about what they do and promote team leadership while fostering goodwill.

If you as a jobseeker, have the chance to attend a job fair, go! It’s an empowering experience that is unique for each jobseeker and will help you brush up on your networking skills.

Here are some valuable tips for jobseekers at job fairs:

*Get organized. Learn all about what employers will be attending the fair through a brochure or website. Carefully research those employers and opportunities.

*Dress professionally, but be comfortable. You will be walking around for awhile.

*Bring extra clean copies of different resumes and solid references, including a complete portfolio package and supporting marketing documents in a briefcase.

*This is a good time to distribute your one-page networking resume.

*When you first arrive, take a few minutes to observe and centre yourself. Job fairs can get very crowded, so be polite and respectful of other jobseekers and employers. Be positive!

*Understand your Unique Value Proposition and be prepared to introduce yourself and talk about your offerings.

*Network confidently and be open to promotional opportunities. Be prepared to hand out business cards. Ask relevant questions.

*Practice your interviewing skills. Present your unique value. Employers want to know what sets you apart and what your focus is. If you strike a connection with an employer, politely ask for a follw-up interview.

*Do not apply everywhere – have a distinct focus – target the employers and roles that are aligned with your career goals.

*If there are seminars or speaking events, attend, listen, and learn. Take notes.

*Don’t forget to track your progress and follow up after the job fair with employers, recruiters, and other professionals, including on LinkedIn.

*Note your observations, what you learned about yourself, your field, job searching, and your next steps for career success. What could you have done better to enhance your job fair experience?

*View your job search with a sense of clear focus, creativity, and driven purpose.

A powerful resume combined with an effective job search strategy will foster concrete results.

*Think creatively and tap into the hidden job market.

Job search methods and strategies have changed considerably since a decade ago,

However, the passion and drive that you, as a jobseeker, leverages along with your networking skills and marketing tools compels employers to learn more about your value. Identify what challenges you want to solve and what companies and roles would be most aligned with your needs and goals.

Check out the job fair on February 2nd at

Keep updated on other upcoming job fairs through the internet.

For more career success tips, consult Creative Horizons Communications at 905.730.2374 or email

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