Career

What is a Hiring Event and How to Prepare for One

Are you preparing for a hiring event? If you’re not sure what it is or how to plan for it, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are the things you need to know about hiring events, and how to prepare for it, as discussed by our experts.

Terry B. McDougall, PCC, MBA

terry mcdougall

Executive & Career Coach, Terry B. McDougall Coaching | Author, “Winning the Game of Work”

A hiring event is an event where multiple employers will be in attendance to interact with larger numbers of potential employees. Often they are organized around a certain industry, functional expertise, or segment of the workforce (such as recent graduates).

Here are some tips for candidates on how to effectively leverage Hiring events whether in person or virtually:

Research the companies that will be in attendance and prioritize the booths that you will visit

If you are able to find out what representatives from the organization will be in attendance, send them LinkedIn connection requests beforehand.

Bring more than enough copies of your resume

You can leave these with the representatives you meet that day or be prepared to send an electronic version of your resume to the people you meet.

Practice and perfect your elevator speech

Be able to talk about who you are, what you’re looking for, and how you’ve added value in your career so that you can share this information in less than 90 seconds when meeting someone new.

Make sure that you’re looking your best from head to toe

Clean and pressed clothing, well-groomed hair, well-groomed facial hair for men, tasteful make-up for women, professional-looking purse or briefcase, shined shoes, etc.

If meeting virtually, make sure you are dressed and groomed as if going to an in-person event. Make sure your camera is at eye level, backgrounds are neat, background noises are kept to a minimum and lighting is adequate and flattering.

Related: What to Wear to a Job Fair

Prepare some success stories from your career or academic background that you can share in a concise way

Structure them as “PAR stories” — what was the PROBLEM you encountered, what ACTION did you take, and what was the measurable RESULT? Practice being able to share each PAR story in 2 minutes or less, and make them relevant to the roles you’re interested in.

Visualize and be confident

Before going into the Career Fair, take a moment to center yourself, and visualize what a successful day looks like. This can help you become more confident and show yourself in the most positive light.

Get business cards or email addresses from everyone you meet

get Linkedin with everyone you meet, and send follow-up notes to thank them for their time and to provide any follow-ups that you discussed that day.

Dana Manciagli

Dana Manciagli

President, Job Search Master Class® for Veterans and non-Veterans

Many employers are sizing up candidates quickly based on first impressions. You are being watched! So you always need to be at your very best. Everything you write, say, and look matters.

Three doors will lead to results: before the event, during the event, and after. If job seekers do everything through these three doors, they will be prepared, more engaged, and will follow up. That will lead to job opportunities. The purpose of each door is different.

  • Door number one: It is all about research, preparation, and setting your schedule in motion for the upcoming event.
  • Door number two: During the event, your strategy is to learn, to network, and to get names.
  • Door number three: This is where you’re going to be applying for jobs after the event. You’ll be following up with everybody, and then following up again three times, spaced out weekly.

Job seekers, there are no shortcuts. Every door matters and your form must be excellent as you go through the steps.

Adem Selita

Adem Selita

CEO, The Debt Relief Company

A hiring event is a great opportunity to get to learn about different companies and respective employment opportunities.

Companies will send their recruiters and best employees to impress potential recruits, with the hopes of attracting top-notch talent to their company. They will have booths set up with swag to lure you in, with the hopes of finding the right fit for their organization.

This is why it is important to understand that as an attendee, even that simple two minute chat you have with the representative standing near a booth handing out free pens matters greatly.

Making a great first impression can often times matter more than what is on your resume! It is going to be important that you wow them and treat your interactions as “mini interviews” because if they like you, the next steps will be applying for a position within the company.

Be prepared and do your research

If this is a job fair or event you have time to prepare for, make sure you do some background research on the companies attending. Knowledge of the company will help build better rapport during any initial small talk and will help you stand out amongst your peers. Start by looking the company up online or following them on social media.

Also, make a note to find something unique and specific to the company that you researched and sprinkle it in the conversation with representatives. It will definitely be a great rapport builder and an additional “wow” factor that will likely have them talking about you after the event is over.

Make sure to dress the part

Again, first impressions are everything at hiring events, so dress for success.

Bring copies of your resume and be ready to add to your LinkedIn network

Also, be prepared to discuss why you are looking for a job with them. Is this more aligned with what you studied in college? Are you looking for a career change? Would joining the company help you achieve a particular life goal/mission (the more you can personalize your answers to the company in question, the better)? Whatever the case, make sure to be prepared and have answers ready!

“People don’t plan to fail; they fail to plan.”

Yaniv Masjedi

Yaniv Masjedi

CMO, Nextiva

Hiring events are hosted by companies with the intention of attracting people that are interested in working for them, and showing them why they should.

The potential team members arrive at the opening time, and then learn all about the company, and meet the team members they would be working with.

Research as much as you can about the company

Before going to a hiring event you should go online and research everything you can about the company. Even quoting one or two figures, like the employee count or the number of offices, this could be how you get their attention.

Companies want to know you actually want to work for them. Specifically them. They want to know you care about working specifically for them and aren’t just taking any old job.

Turning up to a hiring event armed with a list of facts and figures shows you are taking it seriously and indicated you would be a valuable team member.

A hiring event is a great way to get an interview when you don’t think your resume alone could do the job.

You have the opportunity to talk to them, show them you would be a good fit, and demonstrate your enthusiasm for what they do. Showing enthusiasm for the company can be more important than looking good on paper.

Listing details about the company as reasons you would like an interview, that’s a great way to get an interview you may not have earned on paper.

Hiring events are great ways to see what the company culture is like.

We’ve all heard stories of companies that are toxic to work for. A hiring event lets you check the culture out in advance, before committing yourself to an interview.

It is also the company’s chance to show you what it would be like to work for them, and they are trying just as hard to impress as you are.

Go up to people and talk to them

Introduce yourself, and say about how you would love to work for the company. This is where you make your good first impression, and get the necessary contact details to secure that all-important interview.

CJ Xia

CJ Xia

VP of Marketing & Sales, Boster Biological Technology

A hiring event or recruiting event is typically an open interview event held by employers or recruiters that offer on-site interviews to interested candidates. These events usually held at convention centers, hotels, or educational institutes.

Hiring events allow you to meet the employer face to face and to know more about the company. These events may lead to job offers on the spot and cut down the candidates’ waiting time.

Read the detail of the event

First of all, you should read the event description carefully; most of the time, companies will clues what they are expecting from the candidates. For example, employers indicate a plan to hire on the spot that they will interview and contact you later about the hiring decision.

Employers also include the job requirements in the event detail such as qualification, age, physical requirement, experience, which will help you determine if it’s suitable for you. It will help you to know what you should need to bring and what to wear.

Find out which company will be in the event

Find out or ask for a list of the companies who will be attending the hiring event. Try to prioritize those companies that you want to approach. This way, you’ll at least be sure you’ve hit your appropriate choice.

The hiring event is a perfect time to learn about companies and their culture, and You should have some detail about the companies before showing up.

Check out their social media profiles and visit the company website. Before attending the event, do some research about each company on your list and prepare queries for discussion with the recruiters.

Update your resume

Before attending the hiring event, you must review your resume to make sure it’s relevant to your application. Update your past work description according to the event description.

Consider how your qualification matches the job requirements. Make the necessary changes in your resume to help the employer see you have the required talent.

Alex Williams

Alex Williams

Owner, Hosting Data UK

A hiring event is a careers fair held by a number of employers and recruitment companies to offer candidates the opportunity to find out more about their company, potential job vacancies and even the opportunity to interview on the spot for a particular role.

In order to prepare for such an event, potential candidates should consider the practical preparations for a hiring event as well as how they intend on standing out from the crowd.

The more practical preparations include:

  • Update your resume and print out a number of hard copies.
  • Carry out research into the companies attending the event and gather basic information from their website to demonstrate you’ve done your homework.
  • Dress to impress. Wear something smart and professional, not only is this great for first impressions but will also help you feel confident.
  • In order to stand out from the crowd, do your best to approach key individuals to introduce yourself.
  • Work on an elevator-style pitch that should last no longer than around 30 seconds and summarise your resume and career goals.
  • Divulge something unique or quirky about yourself, whether it’s a hobby or a witty comment.
  • Seize every opportunity for an on the spot interview by networking the event and identifying the best roles on offer.

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