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Career Fair

 
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Hi,
I am planning to attend a Career Fair.Though I know there won't be many entry level opportunities,I am going to give it a try.The problem is I have never attended one.I do not know what is the right way to approach company representative:
1. Just give him/her your resume.
2. Give a brief introduction,ask him about his company and the opportunities available and then give your resume.

Could any one guide me on this.
Thanks
Rupali
 
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Personally, I like approach #2. It's more personable and it leaves a lasting impression, which can more than certainly help you if it comes down to picking between applicants equally qualified as you.
I've always seen approach #1 as almost rude when it's an in-person matter - #2 at least makes it seem like you're doing it as more of an attempt to land a job than an exercise in seeing if you can get a response at all.
------------------
Theodore Jonathan Casser
SCPJ2 and SCWCD
IBM Certified Specialist - WebSphere Application Server, Std. Ed, V3.5
 
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Rup:
The most important thing about a career fair is not to get discourage. Yes, the lines may be long (up to an hour wait per company). And yes, it's a cutthroat market out there - but you have to throw your hat into the ring with the rest of the job seekers.
So, you go and talk to the people. Get a business card - shake hands.
I like method #2. You will have a 45 - 90 second opportunity to sell yourself. Listen in on what other candidates say - make mental notes about what you did/did not like. Use them to incorporate into your presentation.
Of course, the usual rules apply. Suite, Tie, Leather Shoes, Etc. Talk to anyone/everyone and don't get discouraged.
Take about 40 copies of your resume. Your goal will be to distribute ALL of them. Make it a little mind game. Anything that you can do to keep from feeling overwhelmed.

As soon as you get home. Read the info/crap/propaganda that you get from these companies. Get contact information. Send thank-you letters, whatever it takes to get an edge.
Use this information to keep busy for the next week as you keep making contacts.
Also, see if the fair corrdinator has a web site. Go to the web-site and look around for other career fairs or possible an on-like career fair / job posting board sponsored by the fair coordinator.
----------
So how is the market?
It's slow going - but NOT dead. Just keep plowing along. Something will eventually turn up.
--------
When you get back from the career fair - you gotta tell us all about it.
Gook luck & Kick butt!!!
John Coxey
(jpcoxey@aol.com)
 
Rupali Desai
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hi,
Thanks John.That was a great ahelp. Your postings are a real encouragement.
I will definitely post about my experience at the career event.
-rupali
[This message has been edited by rup desai (edited October 14, 2001).]
 
Rupali Desai
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hi,
I had been to the career fair yesterday.It just added to my frustration in the job search.Many companies had put up posters saying no entry level jobs.About half the companies didn't require any java or web skills.
The prospect at the companies I gave my resume dosen't seem promising.Someone at fair told me that some companies were there just for the show.
Anyway I will just follow up with the companies to whom I gave my resume.
Well that's all I can do ,keep on trying.
-
R
[This message has been edited by rup desai (edited October 17, 2001).]
[This message has been edited by rup desai (edited October 17, 2001).]
 
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It seems that your are in india .... which city are you from and where did you attend this seminar .
It depends a lot on the city despite of the fact that the siatuation is the same for enetry level programmers .

Originally posted by rup desai:
hi,
I had been to the career fair yesterday.It just added to my frustration in the job search.Many companies had put up posters saying no entry level jobs.About half the companies didn't require any java or web skills.
The prospect at the companies I gave my resume dosen't seem promising.Someone at fair told me that some companies were there just for the show.
Anyway I will just follow up with the companies to whom I gave my resume.
Well that's all I can do ,keep on trying.
-
R
[This message has been edited by rup desai (edited October 17, 2001).]
[This message has been edited by rup desai (edited October 17, 2001).]


 
John Coxey
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Rup:
Don't worry about what others said at the Job Fair with regards to whether the companies were hiring or not. How would they know? These people like to feed off of negativity and it creates a circle of depression. My advice, ignore them and stick to your goals.
Definitely follow up with the companies that you talked to. If you got names - be a total pain in the rear-end and keep bugging them. You goal now is to get an on-site interview. You never know who may call.
So now you move on to the next job fair. Keep searching. Stay focused.
Your number one goal with respect to the job search, is to stay positive and focused. And yes, it's tough. Take a day off and go fishing - get out of the house.
I've been where you have (with respect to the job search) - and the only way I know of to combat depression and bad feelings is to keep busy. If you don't have job leads or job search work to do - then study.
I've learned to have an alternate set of plans in case things go wrong. In this case, if there are no jobs leads you study. Always try to turn a negative situation into a positive one. And remember, no matter how bad things may seem today - they will be better in the morning.
John Coxey
(jpcoxey@aol.com)

 
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Rupali,
I just want to commend you for attending a job fair for the first time. This past week, I attended a job fair for the first time as well, and have empathy for you and your situation. In my case, I was nervous about the fair because I did not know what to expect; it sounds as though you had similar uncertainties. I have several comments on both your posts and reply posts from individuals visiting this website.
First of all, try to put yourself in the recruiter's position, who has probably spoken with many people, been on their feet for several hours, and is growing tired as the day progresses. It is probably best to attend the job fair as early in the day as possible to avoid this situation as much as possible.
Simply handing your resume to a recruiter after waiting in line is probably not a wise course of action. Introduce yourself and ask what the firm currently needs. In general, firms are looking to fill current needs. Act sincerely interested in the recruiter's response because you are sincerely interested. Ask questions and follow-up questions to get a good picture of what the firm is looking for. At the appropriate time, pull out your resume, and before handing it to the recruiter mention that you are looking for a position to meet those specific needs...and the skills you have satisfy the requirements of the position.
I actually had a similar problem as you at the job fair I attended last week, except most firms were looking for entry-level individuals. It was held at a local university. Probably over 90% of those in attendance were new-grads or soon-to-be new-grads.
But how did I know this? Because the waiting lines were so long (I usually waited at least 15 minutes...a couple firms, such as IBM, required me to wait 45-60 minutes), I made myself feel more comfortable with the new experience by chatting with individuals in front and back of me in line. Some even gave me feedback on their experiences at the firm, which helped prepare me as I approached recruiters at firms later on in the day. (I knew early on that most of the firms were looking for entry-level employees, and I made an effort to mention early on in my discussions with recruiters that I was experienced. It is important not to waste their time.)
In one instance, I started a conversation with a recruiter on break (who was at the fair for a non-IT department) while waiting for the firm's other recruiter. This practice chat helped prepare me for the real chat I was about to have, and she was even able to answer some questions for me.
A small fraction of the firms I stopped by had potential work for which I am interested. I made an effort to request leads from those firms that did not match my employment needs. For example, over the past week I have been involved in email conversations with two of the recruiters. Remember, when attempting such a strategy, the worst thing a recruiter can do is say "no, I have no leads or advice for you". Since both you and the recruiters are spending many hours at the job fair, make every effort possible to take advantage of the situation.
Check out http://www.asktheheadhunter.net, I found the website invaluable.
Best wishes for your job search.
Erik
 
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