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Expert tips to stand out at a job fair

May 11, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Whether you have lost your job or are thinking about changing jobs, a job fair is a great place to start your search for a new career. ABC7 is teaming up with Monster.com to help "Keep America Working" with a pair of job fairs on Tuesday and Wednesday. To get the most out of the fair, ABC7 Consumer Specialist Ric Romero says there are a few things you can do to prepare and to stand out in a crowd.

These days a job fair is a crowded place, and that means plenty of competition for the few jobs being offered. That is one reason why it is so important to go prepared.

Doug Hardy, a general manager with Monster.com, says it all starts with dressing for success.

"A career fair is not a gymnasium. You need the following: You need to look really professional, so that means a business outfit. Men, a jacket and tie; women, business formal," said Hardy. "I don't care if you're going for a construction job -- show some respect."

There will be a large number of employers at a job fair, so it may seem overwhelming. So experts say it is important to narrow your search.

"Before you go register online, check out who is going to be there and pick four or five that you absolutely have to see," said Hardy.

You should also prepare a "one-minute commercial" about yourself. You should think about your strong points, your goals, and then be sure to know something about the company you want to work for.

"If you have an interest in the company, they're going to have an interest in you. But more than that, it shows what kind of worker you are if you've done your homework," said Hardy.

Here are some other ideas for making a job fair work for you:
-Arrive early -- check-in takes a while
-Keep a positive attitude -- it shows when you don't
-Network, which you can do even while waiting in line by talking to others

The main thing is that you are trying to stand out from the crowd and get the employers to look at your experience. So be sure to bring many copies of your resume.

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