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Many career experts recommend these events as an efficient way to find your next career. Job fair organizers and participating companies don’t necessarily follow a universal template when planning and hosting these events, so the details can vary from one fair to the next. It may seem daunting—the crowds are big and there’s competition for short attention spans, but it’s worth your effort. Career fair preparation helps you handle the expected and unexpected as you “work the room” to turn up tangible job leads. These tips will help before, during, and after the event to maximize your opportunities.
How to Prepare for the Hiring Event?
- Dress for success: Play it safe and dress business casual. If you are low-budget kind of person, check out your local Goodwill, and stores like Ross, Marshalls, and Plato’s Closet. They tend to have business casual clothing for men and women for only a couple of bucks.
- Practice your pitch: At job fairs, you usually have only about 3-5 minutes to make an impression on your recruiter. It helps to put together a little spiel the night before and practice.
- Research companies attending the fair: Use this time the day before to pick out the companies you want to talk too.
- UPDATE and Bring your resume: Bring copies of your UPDATED resume to hand out to recruiters. Check out our article on resume writing.
What to expect during the event?
- Arrive Early: some of these job fairs can be extremely large and size and could possibly have long lines. Check the job fair website ahead of time to see if you can pre-register. It will save you time and allow you to spend more time talking with recruiters
- Attend the workshops: Usually these little workshops are free and are on a first come, first serve basis. The workshops range from resume writing, industry news, mock interviews and a range of other topics.
- Network, Network, Network: Don’t just talk with employers, network with other job seekers.
- Ask questions: Even though your time might be limited at each table, make sure you have 2-3 important questions to ask.
- Be Proactive: Even if a company doesn’t have any openings in your area, still talk to them. If not now, maybe later the would have something, there is nothing wrong with leaving your resume for future consideration.
- Stay Ready: Not every company will have on the spot interviews, but it is always nice to be prepared. Also, not every company will hire on the spot, it is all up to their discretion.
- Add notes to business cards: Whether the fair is large or small, it is important to take notes on everyone you met. One tip is to write down notes on the back of the business cards as you meet them. It makes it easier to go back later send thank you notes or emails.
What to do after the hiring event?
- Plan a follow-up: Send a quick follow-up thank note or email to the companies you met at the job fair.
UPCOMING EVENTS NEAR YOU
APRIL 11, 2019
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa
2800 Southwest Boulevard
Tulsa, OK 74107
Details: This event will be held in the South Annex of the Goodwill Industries of Tulsa building. Come in anytime between 10:00AM and 1:30PM to talk to one of our many recruiters. 365Worx is a local staffing agency hiring for a variety of jobs. Please bring two forms of Id and dress business casual. We are Felon-Friendly and will consider all situations on a case-by-case basis.
Finding a job is already stressful enough without the added pressures of worrying about if your criminal record is going to interfere with your ability to get hired. Depending on what your crime was, when it happened, and the job that you’re applying for, there may be mitigating factors that employers will take into consideration. For instance, there’s a difference between a single instance of a crime 10 years ago, and a dozen convictions. Majority of the time, if your crime is related to the position you are applying for, it can disqualify you from the job. For example, if you were convicted for theft, then the chances of you being hired as bank teller are slim to none. With all this being said, having a criminal record should not deter you from seeking employment. Following these tips can help the job hunt be a bit less stressful.
Know Your Record
Not every single charge, ticket or infraction will show up on a background check. This is often true if you were convicted outside of the state that you are currently living in. The point is that you should be 100% sure of what your criminal background looks like on paper. This will keep you from disclosing anything that you don’t have to.
Take the proactive approach and run a background check on yourself to see the things that your potential employer might find. Knowing exactly what your interviewer is seeing also gives you a great advantage. You will get the chance to think about the questions you will be asked and create good professional answers. There are a number of online sources you can use to run a background check on yourself.
Felony Disclosure: When and What to tell
Always ask, “How does your hiring process work?” This question will give you a lot of insight as to whether a company runs background checks on potential employees.
Sometimes it is best to be honest about your felony background and sometimes you should just keep your mouth shut. This is a judgment call that you will have to make on the spot. If you think that they will run a background check then you need to say something. If they are needing someone ASAP and they never mention anything then just let it go.
Education and Certifications
While looking and waiting for a job opportunity, it is a good idea to get back to your education and certifications. Just because you are a felon does not mean that you shouldn’t be interested in continuing your education. Technical jobs such as carpentry, electrical, plumbing, roofing and welding are easier to get with a felony record than blue collar jobs. There are also many jobs in the technology field, that only care about a potential employee skill and less about other outside personal factors. If you can do the job you are hired.
If you are looking to take college course, start by looking at a local and inexpensive community college. Take classes to keep your skills up to date, take a training program, or complete your GED if you still need it. This is extremely important to employers, it shows you are making progress in a positive direction.
Communication is such an important key in getting a job. Make sure you take time in your interview to ask questions and show your interest in the company. Show the interviewer that you will be an asset to the company and that your skills are valuable.
Re-Entry Programs and Community Organizations
There are many organizations that are given a tax break by the government to hire ex-felons so look out for such organizations as you will have much less of a difficulty finding a job there. Specifically, this tax break is primarily given during the first year after conviction or release. Also, small local businesses will be more welcoming than larger ones. Large companies often need to comply with strict processes and procedures for hiring. It is completely ok to start from the bottom and work your way up to the top.
Finding and landing a job is a lost easier if you have verifiable references that can vouch for your character. It is important that you chose references that are solid and able to communicate clearly to potential employers about your value. Good references will be able to describe your previous jobs, skills and qualifications, and your abilities to perform at this potential job.
By 2006, Gary Carr had worked for several well-known staffing companies in OKC. His skills and experiences had helped grow their business for over 25 years. After realizing his dream to become a business owner, he decided it was time to branch off and start his own company.
In June of 2007, Gary approached local business owner Jeff Shilling with his business plan. After many conversations and strategic planning, they started 365Worx. Gary took the lead during those early years and built the company from the ground up. Because of his integrity, honesty, and hard work, Gary was well-known and highly respected in the staffing industry.Gary treated everyone with kindness and compassion and loved what he did! Today – 365 Worx carries on and tries to make sure it succeeds as Gary would have wanted it.
“Gary had a special way of making anyone he met feel like family. Working with him, I learned so much about the right way to do business, about developing deep, long-lasting relationships that focused on adapting to an individual’s needs, wants and goals. I didn’t feel like an employee to him, I felt like part of his family. And like many who had the good fortune to know him, I will always miss him.”
“Gary was always on teaching mode, either with one of his childhood stories or business-related ones, there was a lesson to be learned. I always appreciated that.”
365 Worx is growing and changing. We want to be known as a staffing company that “Does staffing differently” – We believe there is a hole in our industry and we can be the staffing company that fills that hole by offering our services with:
PRIDE – in what we do.
PASSION – for people and business
PERSONAL TOUCH – treating everyone as individuals
PROFESSIONAL APPROACH – the professionalism Gary was known for.
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