A job fair was coming up and my interest was sparked, as the event would include non-profit, government, small, mid, and large-sized companies. Even though the booths at this job fair weren’t going to have tasty fried food on a stick or the tracker pull, the potential to meet, ask questions, and set-upwith employers looking to hire is an event all job seekers crave.
I prepared for the job fair similar to how I would for a first interview. I started by practicing my short, 30 second TMAY (tell me about yourself) introduction that I would use to make a good impression. I also practiced other basic interview questions; such as rehearsing my successful projects in AmeriCorps, career goals, strengths, and weaknesses. I then came up with some informational questions to ask the different employers. My final preparations involved printing out copies of my updated, proof-read resume, putting extra business cards in my portfolio folder, and picking out my professional attire.
On the day of the career fair, there were unfortunately only 6 companies present. After visiting all of the booths, I did not find a position that aligned with my career goals. This was discouraging, as it would have been nice to get a foot in the door to somewhere of interest. Yet as I walked out of the conference room I felt at ease. First off, I had gained some practical practice interviewing. Furthermore, speaking about my past work experience had refreshed my confidence in the fact that I have a lot of professional skills and abilities to offer to a company. Speaking about prior projects also reminded me of my passion for working in the community development and service sector. Overall, I realized that even though I am young, I have a developed skill set that makes me a qualified candidate for the area in which I want to work. This energy has carried through the last two weeks, and I have even heard back from two places.
As I continue with the job search process, I am going to work on increasing my time actually meeting with people. The value you get from meeting with a recruiter in person is ten times greater than conversing with a recruiter through email. While this can be a long process, the end result will be worth the wait. I hope you can find ways to meet employers and others who can support you to reach your career aspirations as well!
Best to you,