If you’re looking for a job then you’ll want to attend one of the many Washington, DC Career Fairs in July. The DC area has one of the strongest economies of any place in the United States. With explosive growth and a fun, diverse local culture, it’s been a top choice for young, upwardly-mobile professionals for quite a while. You should plan to pre-register for any events as soon as possible. This includes registering your information so attending companies can view it.
If you’re traveling from out of town, you’ll also need to book a hotel room as well. There are many great hotels near Courthouse Metro, which is situated close to the career fair. The Hyatt Place Arlington/Courthouse Plaza is a popular choice with spacious rooms, fine dining, and a buffet breakfast. Ground transportation is available via the Metro and will take you to DC. The Holiday Inn Rosslyn @ Key Bridge is another good choice. It overlooks Washington, DC and is also convenient to the Metro. It’s a good value choice.
There’s something even more important than even where you stay; your success is dependent on your preparation for the career fair. You should research the organizations that are participating before you attend. During this time, you’ll want to create an elevator pitch and determine whom you’ll speak with. You should also update and prepare your resume beforehand. Lastly, create a list of common interview questions and how you plan to answer them.
Here are five more ways to make the most out of this career fair.
Prepare for Your Trip
While there’s a lot of information about certain jobs, it’s best to ask employers some of your questions about the available positions. This allows you to make a good first impression on recruiters – as long as you’re researching their company. You may not leave with a job offer, but it could increase your chances since most companies are essentially always looking for new recruits.
In the days leading up to the trip, you should review the companies that are attending the career fair and determine which ones you want to speak with. Even if you have a list of companies you’re interested in, you don’t want to ignore the lesser-known companies. You’ll never know if they’re offering your dream job.
Make a Good Impression
On the day of the career fair, you’ll need to make the right impression. While you don’t have to buy a three-piece suit, dressing well shows that you’re serious about this career fair. You’ll also demonstrate your professionalism. Career fairs normally require business casual work attire.
By putting effort into your attire and communication skills, you could score on a potential opportunity. Arrive at the career fair as early as possible, especially since it’ll be crowded. You’ll experience long lines of fresh prospects looking to communicate with recruiters. Nonetheless, this will give you the perfect opportunity to speak with potential employers since you’re attending a popular event in Washington, DC.
You should bring a folder with copies of your resume and a notebook. Before the event, write down any questions you want to be answered by the recruiters. This proves to the employer that you researched their company beforehand. Always get the name of the company you’ve spoken to, including any key points and the specific contacts you spoke with.
This allows you to follow-up with them after the event. You can also point out something that they said in your follow-up email. The information you receive at the career fair can help you answer job application questions.
Define a Clear Strategy
The goal is not to walk aimlessly around the career fair. That’s not a good way to stand out. Instead, you should visit the employers you want to talk to. Come prepared with a list of questions.
If you have anxiety or if you’re shy, then visit your favorite employer once after talking to one or two smaller companies. This allows you to warm up and brush up on your communication skills. Most recruiters are warm and friendly. They were once in your shoes and know what it’s like to look for the perfect job.
Follow Up with Leads
Once you’re home, it’s time to follow-up with recruiters after the career fair. You should have a list of companies that you want to work for, including the contact information of the recruiters. You’ll want to follow up on each of those contacts promptly, so you’ll stick out in their minds. Following up involves writing an introduction letter that could lead to a job opportunity.
Use Online Networking
Aside from attending the career fair, you should also take advantage of online opportunities. Some of those opportunities include virtual career fairs, webinars, and workshops. These online platforms allow you to ask questions, communicate, and engage with employers. The great thing about online networking opportunities is that they’re free to join. Just budget your time wisely.
Social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are also great ways to connect with potential employers while on the go.