Many companies looking to hire a veteran
For veterans looking for jobs, there are several advantages to attending a job fair, but you have to make sure you’re present at the right fairs. These are usually focused on specific industry niches or types of work, and whether they are virtual or physical fairs they can carry a ton of value.
Some of the reasons why veterans should attend job fairs are:
Most job fairs have between 30 and 50 potential employers attending. This helps you to maximize your time, energy and gas expenses, because it’s impossible to connect with that number of individual people in the same time frame any other way. If you do your research ahead of time, you can usually find out which employers will be attending. This makes it easier to plan your day and to prepare your resume and other documentation for specific employers in advance.
When you send out an application for a job, either online or through email, it can take weeks and even a couple of months to hear back—if you do hear at all. By the time you get an interview, you’ve forgotten what the position was about! At job fairs, however, many of the companies present have recruiters and hiring managers on site to conduct interviews, because they don’t want to lose out on talented candidates. You might even be able to set up an interview during the fair and, if all goes well, there’s a chance of getting a job offer right then and there.
You’ve taken the initiative by finding out about the job fair and identifying potential employers who will be present. Now, plan your outreach by:
It’s best to exclude questions and comments about compensation, working conditions and employee benefits at this stage. Your inquiries should focus on what the future holds for the position, division or product range, ways in which you’ll be able to contribute to the company’s success, and highlighting similarities with your previous activities.
Some of the larger career fairs are geared towards pre-registration. This typically requires submitting a resume or a summary of your skills, which gives potential employers the chance to pre-screen applicants. This may not make much of a difference to whether you get noticed or not, but a company looking to hire a veteran is likely to be receptive to someone who takes the initiative to benefit from this step.
Attending the right job fairs requires veterans to develop a plan of action, which includes identifying the industries to which their skills are best suited, researching companies that offer appropriate positions, and then determining when those employers participate in job fairs. When you’re in possession of that information, make the effort to register for the fair, prepare yourself to attend fully equipped, and do additional research in the runup to the event.
Visit our job board regularly to identify companies looking for employees that might hire a veteran, and follow our blog and social media profiles to get news of job fairs in your area.