How to get ready for a job fair
From time to time I work with Career Fairs and evaluate résumés for the attendees. For over 20 years I have participated in the Tulsa World Job Fair as a résumé expert. The résumés that we review range from very professional to the very basic. Some are too wordy and other list very sketchy information. Recently, I returned from a Job Fair in Oklahoma City, where for most of the day there were at least 15 people waiting in line to visit with me about their résumé. Now I am not sure that I would wait in line for a résumé critique, however many people do. That day I only saw about four or five high-impact résumés.
One of the best, if not the best Career Fair in the area is organized by the Tulsa World. I am not paid to say this. And I realize that opinions are like noses everyone has one. By scheduling a little time to attend the Job Fair you will be able to gage the local economy. In any economy there are employers looking for top talent to fill open position.
If you decide to create your résumé on your own, you may want to research online formats or take a trip to the local library to see what formats work best. Remember that many job seekers are using the same format, so you will need to stand out and distinguish yourself as top talent. Some even copy and paste job duties into the resume.
While everyone expects their résumé to be effective, some formats work better than others. And there is always room for personal preference. But remember:
- If you use a small font, it may be too small for tired eyes to read
- If your name and contact information is not accurate you will miss phone calls or emails
- Make sure your name and contact information is at the top of the page or it may be overlooked
- Mixing too many fonts may be a turn off
- Use one inch margins
- Take a good look at your email address – is it professional?
- What have you accomplished in your previous jobs
- Do you need a functional résumé?
- Would a chronological résumé work better for your job search?
- Do you need a biography?
- Proof read carefully
- For a more detailed list of résumé suggestions you may check out my new book, Capturing Success, published by Tate Publishing – you can read selected passages at capturingsuccess.com
Here are a few more career fair tips that I would like to share with you. Take a good long look in the mirror. Most of us need to update our wardrobe, shoes and haircut as the seasons change. Do you need an image makeover? To borrow a cliché you only get one chance to make a good first impression. Whether it is how you look on paper or in person, remember you want to look your best.
Another tip is to extend your hand and introduce yourself to the interviewer. Be engaging and if you pick up a business card – send a thank you note. You just might make a lasting impression on the interviewer. Also, why not a take a few minutes and participate in the seminars that are being presented as well.
No doubt you will hear, "Go to our website and upload your résumé." Follow up quickly. You will not get a job if you don’t apply.
If you stop by our table and ask the question, "What do you think I should do as a career choice?" Don’t be surprised if I give you my opinion. About once a day, I tell a client that my advice and a dollar will get them a cup of good coffee at QT. Hopefully these tips will help, if you need more tips stop by the Tulsa Career Fair for a free résumé evaluation. Should your résumé needs a fresh look, we offer a free consultation in our office also.
For over 18 years, Vicki Hidde has been fortunate to work with professional clients every day who face the challenge of preparing a résumé. Not just any résumé, but one that will pinpoint their most marketable skills, capture the attention of the employer or recruiter and provide the foundation for financial growth and career development. Her career began as a Consultant for Professional Resume Service (later CareerPro), a national career development and résumé service with more than 500 locations. Later, she was promoted to regional director over the five southern states and then to division director with responsibility for career centers in 28 states. With well-developed contacts in the personnel industry and with human resource managers, she has provided in-house workshops on career management, as well as outplacement and termination assistance programs for companies ranging from local businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Learn more at resume-source.com.