Job fairs are a great opportunity for a single mom to explore employment opportunities. There are small and large job fairs that occur all over the country, but how can you make sure that you don’t miss one? Many times there aren’t any television commercials or radio advertisements announcing a job fair. You need to be able to see flyers, be in touch with community groups and civic organizations to be informed. It’s always helpful to know in advance so that you can plan and prepare for a job fair. You certainly don’t want to go to a job fair without a stack of resumes and calling cards. Use these 3 tips below to find job fairs in your area.
- Check the Unemployment Office. The helpful organization known as the unemployment office is kept informed of job fairs, hiring blitzes and layoffs. This means that they have their fingers on the pulse of the world of employment in the area and will be the first place to go to find out when and where job fairs are occurring.
- Community Websites/Bulletin Boards. Visit your local community website and bulletin boards to find announcements of companies who are hiring and who are participating in local job fairs. This is also when being in touch with civic organizations or groups will come in handy. Heck, maybe you could help arrange a job fair. Your organizational skills would be displayed for employers who participate and you may get your foot in the door!
- Local Colleges. Your local college campuses are a great place to find out when they are hosting job fairs. Recruiters, head hunters and local companies who are hiring do a lot of marketing and hiring via job fairs on college campuses. You’ll have to check with the administration of the college to make sure that their job fairs are open to the public and not just for students.
As a single mom whether you have a job already or are searching for employment a job fair is a good way to network and locate a profession that interests you and meets your financial and scheduling needs.
If you’ve never been to a job fair you don’t know what you are missing. Even if you have a job it’s worth checking out all the opportunities that are presented at job fairs. Imagine booth after booth of professional businesses that have job openings available and there for the taking. Of course there is also a lot of competition but chatting with a representative at a job fair will answer many of the questions you will have about the company but are afraid to ask in an interview. To take full advantage of the opportunity go to job fairs prepared to apply.
Create a resume and take several copies of it with you to the job fair, also consider calling cards/business cards. You want to have something to offer that will make you stick out in the representatives’ mind. Being prepared and interested is one sure way to get your foot in the door.
Carry your own portfolio complete with pen and paper so that you can easily pull out your resume or jot down information. Most of the time hiring isn’t done at the job fair but the information, resumes and applications collected are sorted right away and the people who were prepared will be at the top of the list for interviews.
Dress as if you are going to an interview. Job fairs are the place to present yourself as a professional. Skip the mommy jeans and baggy sweatshirt. If you need some advice about how to dress for an interview be sure to check out Dressing for the Interview by Theresa Leschmann.
A job fair is a great place to network and connect not only with potential employers but also other job seekers who may have information about an available job that would be perfect for you. Take the time to talk to people along the way. You’ll be surprised at how many contacts you will leave with if you simply get involved at the job fair.
Check your local unemployment office or bulletin board for the next job fair in your area. Get prepared and go there with the intention of making an impression on at least 3 separate people! If your single mom social skills are lacking a bit, 3 people can seem impossible. But if you’re used to being out away from the kids and interacting with adults you’ll probably deal with many more people at a job fair.