Jun 9, 2012
If you are looking for a new career path, you may be considering checking out a job fair or two to get some face time with both local and national companies in a particular field of industry. This is always a positive and progressive way to spend an afternoon while waiting for responses to resumes you already sent out. While job fairs are still as popular as ever for finding potential employers, networking at job fairs has perhaps become even more important. This is because who you know has actually become more crucial than what you know.
Networking is not a new, innovative concept. In fact, it is the oldest form of marketing in the history of industry. Before there were national companies and multi-media marketing campaigns, developing your business required that you go out into the community and meet your potential buyers face to face.
Whether you were a farmer with crops to sell or a smith with services to provide, the community needed to know that your integrity and character translates into your business. This is perhaps the very philosophy that has continued to prove why networking at job fairs is so important.
Networking at job fairs does not only open doors to new employment opportunities with companies poised to hire right now. It also connects you with other people in your area who share similar interests and skills. While these people could have been viewed as competition a decade ago, you can now comfortably welcome them as colleagues and confidants.
Because the Internet has created new opportunities to cater businesses to niche markets, intelligent and inspired thinkers can now develop new businesses with other like-minded people and capture a small market share. As long as you continue to provide a very specific product or service to this tiny piece of the available market, you will always have a thriving business.
One aspect of networking at job fairs that is highly overlooked is that when you introduce yourself to as many people as you can, you are spreading an awareness about who you are and what you do. Your name will be mentioned many times throughout the day, meaning more people will have the opportunity to hear it.
This keeps you fresh in the mind of both potential employers and possible future project partners. The more you keep your identity in circulation during the event, the more likely you will be remembered as time passes.
Whether you are seriously looking for a new career change or just investigating some possible changes, you should remember that networking at job fairs is just as important as handing out your resumes. Along with your job history information, resumes, and references, you should also bring with you some business cards or contact cards to hand out to people other than potential employees.
Let people know that you mean business and they will take you seriously, no matter what it is that you do. Again, it isn’t just about securing employment, but getting the word out that you get the job done.
By Tobias Malzahn