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Why Attend a Career Fair (Even When You Don’t Think You Need To)

Career and job fairs happening frequently in the city, and mostly free, but those should not be reasons to take them for granted. On the contrary, you should attend several career fairs a year, whether you have a job or not. Here are 5 reasons why:

Practice confidence

A career fair is a shopping mall for career prospects and connections, and confidence is the currency of the day. Not only are employers and organizations vying for the brightest candidates, you have the opportunity to sell yourself to your “buyer” of choice. To do this, you need to confidently deliver an elevator pitch and share your skills, experience and aspirations. Attend several career fairs and practice looking people eye to eye, shaking hands confidently, overall body posture and speaking fluently in professional manner. Study the body language of the most successful networker in the room; pick cues from their posture, dress, sense and speech. Practice making your brand the most desirable in the room. It all begins with confidence.

Reconnaissance

What would Sherlock Holmes do if he attended a job fair? Likely, he would watch for several clues, extrapolate information and use it later to solve the case. Grab your figurative (or literal!) Sherlock hat and head to Concordia’s career fair. Information gleaned can help solve the Case of the Missing/ Future Employment! LinkedIn details, organizational objectives, names of HR representatives and hiring managers, employee expectations, knowledge of workplace culture and atmosphere, are all potent weapons in your arsenal when eventually writing resumes, cover letters and heading to interviews. A job interview will not take you by surprise when proper reconnaissance has been done. A career fair is a great resource for just that. Elementary, my dear Watson.

Explore alternatives

Not sure which career path you want to pursue after school? Or, perhaps you’re already at a job that you don’t find fulfilling and are considering a change? At a career fair, you will interact with working professionals from all walks of life. Do not be afraid to take a representative more personal questions like their reason for working where they do and any  purpose and sense of fulfilment their jobs may offer them; you might be surprised by the answers you get.

Socialize and network

Careers fairs provide a healthy social context to not only discuss with representatives from various organizations, but also with fellow job seekers. Everyone is there with career advancement in mind. Start a conversation with a stranger, you may meet someone who is looking to vacate a position they currently occupy which you might be interested in filling. Exchange business cards, emails or LinkedIn details. Career related conversations can continue even after the career fair ends. Great friends and associates can be made if you approach a job fair with a social networking mindset.

Be inspired

Feeling down because you are unsure about your future or are currently unemployed? Perhaps you are ready to move on from your current place of work. A career fair might just be the right dose of inspiration to get your productivity juices flowing again. Humans are generally social creatures, and interacting with bright and eager minds, tends to inspire us to better our lives also. Maybe it’s the sense of challenge in the air, maybe it’s even a bit of career envy. Whatever it may be, being in the midst of many brilliant, confident people vying for job prospects can get your blood running, and motivate you to strive for more.

Cheers to good success!