Career expos are valuable for so many reasons: Employers and job seekers both get to see a lot of options all in one place, and the expectations are clear – one group is looking to hire, and the other group is looking for work.
Of course, the fact that a job fair is a one-day, one-stop experience also presents a challenge, as employees and employers both have a limited time to make the right impression. That’s why it’s so important to know what to expect at a career expo and to prepare yourself appropriately.
If you’re participating in the Multicultural Career Expo Monday, March 19 from 2-7 p.m. at Hilton Memphis, 939 Ridge Lake Boulevard, you can expect a vibrant event featuring plenty of opportunities. Here’s our best advice for making the most of what you’ll find:
For job seekers, start by visiting www.multiculturalcareerexpo.com for a list of the employers that are attending this year’s Expo. You’ll be able to decide ahead of time who you’re most interested in talking to, and even pinpoint where they’ll be located in the ballroom. That gives you the chance to research your priority companies and their specific job openings so you can be prepared to tell them how your skills and experience match their needs.
Candidates should also prepare a small bag that leaves their hands free for handshakes. In your bag, include copies of your resume, pen and paper to take notes, and business cards. Get your wardrobe ready as well: We suggest clothes and shoes that are professional yet still comfortable, since you’ll be on your feet and moving around all day.
Once you arrive at the Expo, focus on showcasing your confident smile, eye contact and firm handshake. Rely on talking points you prepared ahead of time if you’re nervous, ask insightful questions, and try to share your story with as many employers as possible. After talking with the numerous human resources professionals onsite, leave your resume – with the most relevant points notated – and thank them for their time. Finally, make sure to follow up with thank you notes, applications, LinkedIn connections, etc. within 48 hours of the event.
HR professionals, meanwhile, are encouraged to take advantage of the Multicultural Career Expo’s exciting new targeted approach. The Expo’s organizers are inviting employers to tell them in advance about the positions they have open and the specific skills and qualifications they’re looking for. Take them up on the offer – that way, the experienced professionals who organize this great event each year can make sure the right candidates are in front of you on Expo day. Remember, the more specific and detailed the information you provide, the better.
The Multicultural Career Expo is a golden opportunity for both diverse job seekers and leading Mid-South employers to connect. Now that you know a little more about what to expect, it’s time to start making your preparations to have the best Expo experience possible. Good luck!