First job fair coming up.. Top 5 tips please!

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First job fair coming up.. Top 5 tips please!

Post by viceroych »

Hello All!

I'm attending my first ever IS job fair in Bangkok next week!

I'd like your top 5 tips for making the most of the experience.

What should i remember to do/bring/ask potential employers/prepare for etc?

Your advice would be very much appreciated!

Thames Pirate
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Re: First job fair coming up.. Top 5 tips please!

Post by Thames Pirate »

Do your homework beforehand. Take the time to really research your top choice schools, including your pie-in-the-sky schools as well as more realistic options. Research the mission statements, browse their websites, look at whom they sent to the fair, etc. A well-organised cheat sheet is worth its weight in gold. Knowing what positions are open from both the online database and from the candidate lounge (remember, sometimes things are posted in the lounge and not online or are still online but not in the lounge because the spots are filled) will help you make your plan.

Have your prep work done and have a plan. Have your resumes, ichiro, whatever ready and printed before you go. Have your clothes ironed and your initial plan for signups made (which schools are you hitting up and in what order? What do you want to say to recruiters?). Decide which presentations you are interested in seeing. I colour-code with a highlighter so that I can easily check when and where to go, when to try to avoid scheduling interviews, and where I should go if I have the time. You won't have time to find a print shop. Having a spare set of clothes ready for when you spill coffee during breakfast.

Get your rest. Especially if you are jet lagged and/or an introvert. You are "on" the WHOLE time, and that is exhausting. The emotional roller coaster is exhausting as well. Rest when you can, either between events if you are at the fair hotel or at night. If you want down time, do it away from the fair. But be aware that you might still meet someone from the fair at the local eatery. Your room is your only real sanctuary. Use it.

Be flexible. Your plan will be shot to hell in no time. That's okay. Things change fast for recruiters as well as candidates, and everyone is tired, sometimes cranky, and doing the best they can for their schools and their situations. Don't be discouraged when you don't get hired right away but others do. Be willing to take interviews even if you hadn't considered the position or know little about the school. Change the order in which you sign up based on the length of line.

Network like crazy. Like I said, you are "on" all the time. That means watch what you drink at the social so you can be working the crowd. Talk to other candidates to see what you can learn about potential destinations or their thought processes or what went well in interviews. Maybe they will tell you where their interview went off the rails so when you talk to that recruiter later you can avoid that pitfall. Or maybe you can just encourage one another. Talk to recruiters, even of schools you are not necessarily interested in. You might learn more about the process, find an interesting job that you hadn't considered, or make a connection for the future, when that person is at a different school where you might want to be. A conversation in an elevator led to a job for us once. Or a teacher to whom you gave a kind word of hope moves into leadership and offers you a job. You just never know.
fine dude
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Location: SE Asia

Re: First job fair coming up.. Top 5 tips please!

Post by fine dude »

Practice, practice, practice about the following. Imagine Steve Jobs commencement at Stanford.
- Explain why you are a good fit.
- How will you contribute for the overall school life, not just academics? Quote examples from recent experience and carry related documents as evidence.
- Share anecdotal leadership experience with accreditation, curriculum, extracurriculars etc.
- If you coach a sport, discuss explicitly. American HoS love sport more than academics.
- You also need to prove you are flexible and a lifelong learner, not averse to being coached or mentored.

Make sure your CV and cover letter consistently highlight the above-mentioned points.

All the best.
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Re: First job fair coming up.. Top 5 tips please!

Post by shadowjack »

I did a job fair diary a few years back. Not much will have changed. You can find it on the other forum if you search through the first page or two.
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Re: First job fair coming up.. Top 5 tips please!

Post by sid »

Pack some snacks so you can eat in your room whenever you get the chance. You might not always have time or inclination to get a full meal in a restaurant filled with candidates and recruiters.
Likewise make sure you have a water supply.
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