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The Importance and Value of Veterans Attending the Right Job Fairs

The Importance and Value of Veterans Attending the Right Job Fairs

Many companies looking to hire a veteran participate in job fairs to improve their recruiting efforts. This option also helps optimize the money they spend on advertising open job positions. Occasionally, an employer attends a job fair purely to spread the word about his company. Others, however, are there intending to hire new employees right away.

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:

#1: Multiple employers are present

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.

#2: Onsite Interviews Occur

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.

#3: Plan Your Strategy

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:

  • doing research on the companies participating
  • determining what vacancies they currently have available, the ones they are most likely to hire a veteran for, and which you most want to apply for
  • preparing a short response to the proverbial “tell me about yourself” question, which focuses on relevant experience and transferable skills that would benefit the specific position.
  • developing a list of questions to showcase your knowledge of the industry and the work.

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, how you’ll contribute to the company’s success, and highlighting similarities with your previous activities.

#4: Pre-registration is sometimes possible

Some of the larger career fairs are geared towards pre-registration. This typically requires submitting a resume or a summary of your skills, allowing potential employers 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 have that information, make an effort to register for the fair, prepare yourself to attend fully equipped, and do additional research in the run-up to the event.

Visit our job board regularly to identify companies looking for employees who might hire a veteran. Follow our blog and social media profiles to get news of job fairs in your area.