the Other Side

Early this month, I dropped by a local job/career fair. This time, I was on the other side; I was one who currently had a job and was no longer a student. On impromptu, I stood-in to represent a company for a brief 20 minutes which ultimately became the highlight of my day.

As I walked around to see what job opportunities were available and speaking to some people, I took note of some observations:

  • Be confident. Take comfort in knowing that there are employer reps who are new to this as much as you are. If you are a job seeker, know that the employer reps want to talk to you as much as you want to talk to them; otherwise, they wouldn’t be there. If you are an employer rep, speak confidently – you have the advantage, the power to hire; represent well.
  • Job Seekers: If you are with your friend and are looking for the same type of jobs, make sure you have your friend introduce himself (instead of introducing him as well). However, the employer may remember you as one who takes initiative, thus leaving a stronger impression.
  • Employers: have material available that describes what your company does and where you are located, especially if your focus is in a specialized field. If a prospect doesn’t recognize your company, chances are that they won’t recognize your product (unless you are a company that has a very well known product across all industries). Otherwise, you will find that you are trying to explain who you are most of the time.
  • Job Seekers: Don’t force your résumé onto a company just because you have a pile that you want to get rid of, especially if the company encourages you to apply online and if you express that you don’t really want to relocate. I am very tempted to toss those out and even if I don’t, I put them in a different pile. I think if someone genuinely likes you, they will ask for and take your résumé gladly (and put an A+ on it, as someone noted).
  • Employers: Learn the local lingo. If you are hiring through local schools, note their job search engine names (e.g. “Job Mine”) so you can help students find you. Note to self: know which terms you’re hiring for and whether they should apply online, in person, or via the school.
  • Employers: Grab a bite before the fair. You will meet people all day and if you are by yourself, you risk losing great potentials or starving. I was at one booth where there were two people who wanted to find out more about a camp (much like Camp Goodtimes), but the booth was empty.

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