Job fairs can be daunting and there is certainly no guarantee that you will find applicants at them. However, with our shrinking labor pool, job fairs are a great tool to meet candidates and conduct an initial screening as well as market your company as a great place to work. You may also be able to guide the job seekers in their job search process: job leads, first impressions, resumes, interview tips, etc.

That said, here are a few things that will help make your experience, as a recruiter, a positive and productive one.

1. Be prepared to talk about all positions that may be open in your company—if you are recruiting for just one branch/division, it will be helpful to have some knowledge of other openings and key contacts for those positions.

2. Make your booth attractive—even if it is just a bowl of candy, pens, and/or job postings printed on colored paper. People will be intrigued by color and will be more likely to stop at your table.

3. The Androscoggin County Community Fair starts at 9 a.m. and job seekers will be “ready to go” at that time; please plan ahead so that your booth is “ready to go” by 9 a.m. as well. Same is true for all fairs, be set up and ready by the fair start time.

4. Many job seekers are very intimidated by the job fair and job search process; help them out by “inviting” them to your booth for a conversation. If a job seeker is having difficulty with conversations about their skills, knowledge areas and abilities, help them by asking open ended and/or leading questions.

5. Smile and show enthusiasm for your company and attendance at the fair: show job seekers that your company is a GREAT place to work and that you enjoy your job.

6. If your company only accepts on-line applications, offer to accept business cards in lieu of a resume or to keep a log of people that stopped by your booth. Doing so will encourage the job seeker and show that their attendance at the fair matters.

7. If you do accept and review resumes, it is important that you give feedback on poorly written resumes—sometimes you might be the only person who is willing to do so.

8. If you are able, you should be on your feet and energized, not sitting behind the table. If space allows, walk or stand in front of or beside your table to greet people.

9. If you meet job seekers that are a good match for your company, connect with them as soon as possible—if you thought they were great, other companies did, too.

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