Tips to Maximize Your Experience During the MERC Job Fair
Some candidates will be very driven and focused. They will have researched your organization and be ready to market themselves. Others may be wandering through the event. They may feel intimidated and nervous about starting a conversation with a stranger. Our Career Centers work hard to help candidates get the most out of this event. You, as the organizational representative, can do a great deal to generate interest in your organization and have meaningful conversations with our students and alumni as well.
Before the Fair
- Be sure to be set up on-time. In our experience, it’s often the most motivated candidates who arrive earliest in the day. If you are still setting up your booth you might miss them.
- A good exhibit is simply a stage for information exchange. You are the focus, not your exhibit.
- Have some kind of way to distribute contact information – business cards, etc. – so that candidates may contact you with more questions or be able to refer to you by name.
At the Fair
- Make a good first impression. Candidates will base their opinion of your organization on YOU. Staff must be very knowledgeable.
- Know yourself, your position, your organization, and where candidates may fit into that entire scheme.
- Stand, don’t sit, at your exhibit. Sitting in the chair behind your exhibit doesn’t connote a sense of excitement and a welcoming atmosphere.
- Wear name tags prominently. We recommend that candidates try to get your name/title from them.
- Don’t wait for visitors to approach you – be assertive, friendly and sincere.
- There may be some down time, and your smartphone is always beckoning. No matter how great the desire to check your email, remain hands free and attentive at all times.
After the Fair
- Respond to all inquiries personally ASAP to reinforce your good image and to “strike the iron when it is hot.”
- Respond to inquiries and follow up ASAP after the event. Finding employment is a serious matter for these job seekers, so don’t keep them guessing.