Have you been to a Career Fair lately? Now that the Canadian economy is bouncing back, Career Fairs – events where you get to meet face-to-face with employers that are hiring – are returning. But don’t just show up in jeans and T-shirt.
There are protocols to follow that prove you have good manners as a serious job applicant. Here are six to note:
• Dress Dapper. While it may be tempting to slip on casual clothes for a day spent visiting booths and standing for long periods of time, you’re actually showing up for a series of job interviews with different employers. Be respectful by wearing proper wardrobe.
• Groom Yourself Gracefully. Guys, don’t show up unshaven with scraggly hair. Get a haircut and try not to cut yourself during that close shave. Gals, hit the hair dresser or salon and apply your makeup to look professional, not like it’s a night out on the town.
• Practice Patience. Waiting in line for the most popular employers can try your tolerance. You may be tempted to jump the queue, complain about delays, or shuffle your feet or complain aloud. Instead, bring a good book with you – in particular, one that the employers might see you reading and be curious to know more about.
• Be Polite. Whether you’re chatting up an employer, or bump into someone who starts a conversation with you, be extra courteous. First impressions count. You never know when the person whose foot you rudely step on as you race to another booth turns out to be a hiring manager for another employer.
• Respect Your Interviewers. The recruiters who represent employers are having a long day too. They must contend with high volumes of candidates (like you) who are super-anxious to make an impression. So stick to time limits when you’re interviewing. Speak up to be heard over the crowd. Do your research and practice your answers beforehand to show that you’re taking these opportunities seriously.
• Follow-Up In A Timely Way. If, during an interview, you promised something to an employer – such as providing references or supplying your Social Insurance Number – be sure to do so quickly.
• Send Thank You Notes. Anyone who interviews you deserves a personalized thank you note. (Hint: always ask for a business card no matter who you meet; it may come in handy afterward). Let the interviewer know that you appreciate them meeting with you. Remind them why you’re the best candidate. And include your contact info. E-mailed Thank You’s are fine, but an actual card or letter can make a more lasting impression.
By Mark Swartz – Monster Careers