Career Fair Tip #3: Presentation and Memorable Follow Up
The goal of attending a veterans career fair is to present yourself as a serious and qualified candidate whom recruiters can envision representing their company well. Follow these tips to get noticed and take your career search to the next step.
Ask the recruiter for the best way to follow up, and make sure you exchange information. Follow up via email or LinkedIn: express your interest in the company/position, and thank them for their time at the career fair.
Or, if you had a compelling conversation, send a handwritten note for jobs of great interest. Not a lot of folks do that anymore, and you will stand out from the crowd.
One more note about following up. This should be common sense, but it bears repeating: if a recruiter says, “Call me tomorrow,” make sure you DO! Tomorrow means tomorrow, not three days later. You’d be surprised how often this happens.
But before you send ANY type of communication, make sure of these:
• Legible handwriting for a handwritten note
• Proper grammar and spelling
• The communication should be professionally written: no acronyms or language that you would use in texting (this is no place for Lol)
Dressing and Acting the Part:
Like it or not, people make judgments based on how you look. What recruiters say they like about military folks is that they don’t have to tell them the basics. Well, dressing appropriately is a basic yet critical part of creating the right impression at a career fair. That means: no jeans and t-shirts, and no baseball hats. At a minimum, wear business casual attire such as slacks, skirt and a polo shirt or blouse. Are you looking for a leadership or management role? Dress the part by wearing the suit.
Also, people like to talk to other people who are pleasant. So, what does that mean for you? A smile, a good handshake (not a vice grip), and solid eye contact is also an important part of how you look.
Discouraged? Remember This:
Searching for a new career can be overwhelming and at times, discouraging. Here’s a reminder from a financial recruiter about who you are and why you’re wanted: “We love a successful military career. And that can be defined in many ways. You don’t have to have been a four-star general. We want leaders, those who stood out from their peers. We like outgoing personalities, and those who are involved in their community.”
He went on to say, “The work ethic, leadership, and teamwork mindset – those are the skills that translate well. We can teach you everything else. Your work in your military branch has already shown that you have the ability to be coached and trained.”
A recruiter can only give you a limited amount of time at a career fair. Refuse to present yourself in any way that is average!
Did you follow our advice? Let us know how it turned out! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us about your success!