About Military Contractor Job Fairs

Military Contractor Job Fairs/Career Expos are a great way for you to explore potential employment opportunities and learn more about companies who are actively hiring in your neighborhood. Many people see it as something as serious as a first interview, while others view it as an opportunity to gather information about potential employers.

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Tips for Attending a Military Contractor Job Fair

When you're job searching, take some time to attend job fairs. You'll have the opportunity to meet with employers that you might not be able to access any other way. Plus, job fairs and career expos often offer networking programs, resume reviews, and workshops for job seekers.

What can you do to compete with the crowds attending job fairs? These tips will help you get ready to attend and maximize your opportunities while you're there.

Dress for Success — Attend the job fair dressed for success in professional interview attire, and carry a portfolio. You are making a first impression and want to look your best, whether it is business attire, a suit or military uniform.  Be sure to look appropriate for the job you are interviewing for. Do wear comfortable shoes, because you will be standing in line.

Practice a Pitch — Practice a brief "elevator pitch" summarizing your skills and experience that tells the recruiter who you are, your skills, experience and interests.

Bring Resumes — Bring printed copies of your resume with you! Even if your resume is available online, or you have already submitted digitally, it’s always best to have a printed copy with you so that the recruiters can make their notes and keep a copy with them in hand. Bring enough copies for each of the companies you intend to speak with.

Check Out Companies — Be prepared to talk to hiring managers by checking out the company's web site, mission, open positions, and general information before you go. Speak with every company that is at the job fair. Many companies have positions available that they did not post online. You may be surprised to find that the perfect position for you was not posted yet.

Arrive Early — Keep in mind that lines can be long, so arrive early - before the fair officially opens.  

Attend a Workshop/Networking Reception — If the job fair has workshops or seminars or networking receptions, attend them. In addition to getting job search advice, you'll have more opportunities to network.

Network — While you are waiting in line, talk to others. You never know who might be able to help with your job search.

Show Initiative — Shake hands and introduce yourself to recruiters when you reach the table. Demonstrate your interest in the company and their job opportunities.

Be Enthusiastic — Employer surveys identify one of the most important personal attributes candidates can bring to a new position as enthusiasm. This means that employers want to see you smile.  Shake hands, make eye contact while interviewing and be sure to ask for a business card.

Ask Questions — Have some questions ready for the company representatives. The more you engage them, the better impression you'll make. Do not ask simple questions that could have been answered by looking at their website as this shows that you did not do any research about the company ahead of time.

Collect Business Cards — Collect business cards, so you have the contact information for the people you have spoken with.

Take Notes — It's hard to keep track when you're meeting with multiple employers in a busy environment. Jot down notes on the back of the business cards you have collected or on your notepad, so you have a reminder of who you spoke to about what. 

Say Thank You. Take the time to send a brief follow up thank you note or email to the company representatives you met at the job fair. It's a good way to reiterate your interest in the company and to remind company representatives that you're a strong candidate.

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