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Develop strategies for attending career fairs

Developing a strategy for attending a career fair can help job seekers feel confident before, during, and after the event.  Whether the fair is being held in a large venue like a convention center or arena or in a more intimate setting like a single ballroom in a hotel, there are some similar strategies to maximize your time and impact to prospective employers.

  • Dress for the interview. Career fairs are one to five minute interviews, so it is appropriate to wear a suit as you would for a formal interview. It is always better to be more than less formally dressed, regardless of the industry you are interested in working for.
  • Prepare a list of skills you have to provide employers. The list should be a reference for you to evaluate if a job would be a possible fit - use it when checking what positions will be recruited for at the career fair. Have notes about the employers' jobs and how your skills are aligned to their needs.
  • Be ready to answer questions about everything on your resume. With a limited amount of time to meet with candidates, it's important to be prepared for any of the topics that could come up from content on your resume to maximize your conversations with recruiters. Tailor each resume to content focused on the specific role you are interested in.
  • Create an introduction that tells the employer what is in it for them to keep talking to you. This is sometimes referred to as the ‘one minute sell'. Give the recruiter a brief reason why you are interested in the company and what skills you have that are relevant along with a couple of results you have achieved in positions previously using those skills. This tells the person that you have done the research to understand how you can provide value to their team.
4:16 pm          Comments

Evaluate your methods on how to recruit Millennials

Millennials will make up 75% of all US workers by 2025 and they will be managing a Gen-Z workforce.  So what can your organization do today to make sure you are utilizing the most effective recruitment methods to attract and retain talent in these demographics?   No matter what role you have in the recruitment process, it's important to understand how your recruiting is interpreted by the youngest generation of workers.

  • They want to know about job opportunities - always. Unlike their predecessors, these generations are open to hearing about new career moves consistently. Thirty percent of millennials in a 2016 LinkedIn® survey said they see themselves working for their current employer for less than one year. So the companies that are communicating with high quality talent on a consistent basis will be most likely to get them on the team.
  • Communicate with them in their comfort zone. Don't throw out every old school method, but be adaptable. Request creative content in the candidates' cover letters such as the answer to a question that shows something about their personality. Prepare to use texting and web chats too - these are the newest ways to catch and keep the attention of these groups.
  • Be open about your culture and mission. Include discussion of the company's culture and values in your recruiting presentations and materials. Explaining the industry's potential growth and the corporate approach for social responsibility will help candidates determine alignment with their personal goals and values.
  • Show them a clear path for their short-term future. Having a clear career path to share with candidates and continue to share with new employees is an important component of successfully recruiting and retaining Millennials. Be ready to share how they fit into the company now and how management and HR will help them move forward in the future.
6:34 pm          Comments

Jobs report is promising but not for all industries

Job seekers should definitely be encouraged by the latest statistics about employment.  There are, however, some industries that have not seen positive hiring trends in the past few months.  Traditional retail stores have been downsizing in staff rather than increasing personnel.  This is due in large part to the increase in online purchasing both on direct websites and third party ones such as Amazon®.  So, if you are in the retail sector and want to start planning a move, what are the key steps to make a transition?

  • Identify industries that need your skills. Think outside the box on this. Retail staff have a myriad of soft skills including communication, organization, problem-solving etc. Jobs in healthcare, public service, education, and general business all need people with those skills in various departments. Figure out which companies are hiring in your market and search for jobs with your skills in the keywords.
  • Update your documentation electronically and online. Obviously a current resume and cover letter are must haves, but you should make sure that they are tailored to the companies you want to potentially work for. Don't forget to make your online presence (LinkedIn®) current also with any training, certifications, or job responsibilities you have taken on in the past 6 months.
  • Let your network know you are looking for a change. It's surprising how often job seekers forget that their friends and relatives and past co-workers and supervisors are a great resource. If you left your last job on good terms, and it's not in the retail sector, reach out to those people also - they may have something that is perfect for you to transition to.
4:54 pm          Comments

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