Employer Panel: Job Fair Edition

September Employer Panel - IowaWORKS-Southern Iowa Blog

The Appanoose County Job Fair is next Tuesday the 22nd of September from 4-6 at the National Guard Armory. We gave you our advice earlier this week on how to prepare, present yourself, and follow up at a job fair, but we don’t want you to just take our word for it, so we sought out the opinion of Appanoose County employers who have attended job fairs to give their advice on going to a job fair. We spoke with two manufacturers and two retailers in Centerville to get their advice

IowaWORKS: What should I wear to the job fair?

Manufacturer #1: Nice shirt (no t-shirts with offensive writing, etc.) and a nice pair of jeans or pants (no sweatpants or jeans with holes) if you are looking for general laborer, factory type positions. Any job search for an office type position merits dress clothes that would be appropriate for the particular job you are searching for.

Manufacturer #2: Business Casual

Retailer #1: Clean clothes that are not just appropriate for the job you are seeking, but – better. No hats, no flip flops, no torn clothes.

Retailer #2: Wear attire similar to or that fits the business you are applying for. Be clean, personal appearance is important to us and our customers. Shaved, showered, fresh breath, with a clean, neat appearance is always welcomed.

IowaWORKS: What should I bring with me when coming to the job fair?

Manufacturer #1: Resume and a letter stating your qualifications is always nice. It is your personality and the impression you make at your introduction though that makes the employer flag a particular resume to do a call-back on. Are you confident in how you handle yourself?

Manufacturer #2: A resume, if possible.

Retailer #1: 1) Resume 2) An attitude and personal presence that says “I am reliable, hire me.”

Retailer#2: Pen/pencil, notepad, resume, a friendly smile and a helpful attitude are a plus.

IowaWORKS: What should I be prepared to talk about with the employers that are in attendance?

Manufacturer #1: What they do at their particular business, what a typical day is like, what is expected out of their employees.

Manufacturer #2: Positions open and if I fit with the qualifications of the open positions.

Retailer #1: Skills, especially if you have special or technical skills and work history.

Retailer #2: Availability, jobs you are interested in, any conflicts in schedule.

IowaWORKS: How should I follow up with employers once the job fair is over?

Manufacturer #1: Call them once a week if employer is okay with that… too many follow-up phone calls are annoying and can work in reverse for the job seeker.

Manufacturer #2: Email or stop in and complete an application.

Retailer #1: Call to follow up and ask status of application 3-5 days after job fair.

Retailer #2: A few days later a pleasant phone call may jog a memory in your favor.

IowaWORKS: Do you have any tips for someone attending their first job fair?

Manufacturer #1: If you come with a spouse, it looks as if you aren’t capable of searching for a job yourself and you need to have someone holding your hand at all times, which isn’t a good sign of an independent worker who doesn’t require to be supervised at all times. It also makes it look like you’re only there because your significant other is making you go. Be confident. Don’t act like each table you stop at is an obligation, but rather act as if you are choosing to stop at that particular table because you are genuinely interested in the business as a potential employer.

Manufacturer #2: Relax, introduce yourself to the employer, if you don’t know what the employer produces, ask the employer to explain. Share your past experiences with employer to gauge if you are qualified/interested in the open positions.

Retailer #1: 1) Arrive early. 2) Talk to every employer – you never know what their needs are unless you ask.

Retailer #2: Put your best foot forward. Show interest in the people you speak with. Make eye contact, use a firm handshake, and remember your manners.


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