Hey there, Buckeyes!
It’s June, and that means that it is once again time for the HireOhio Alumni Career Fair here at The Ohio State University. This event is one of our biggest and most successful programs here in the Office of Alumni Career Management, and with good reason. In the 7 years since the program’s inception, HireOhio has facilitated the career growth of thousands of Buckeye alums of all backgrounds – and it can help yours as well.
Of course, if you are an unemployed, or employed but searching alum, the justification for attending HireOhio are obvious. However, even if you are not someone who is currently in the search, attending a career fair (HireOhio or otherwise) can be really helpful to you in your current and future positions. Here are three reasons why you should attend a career fair – even if you’re not looking for your next position.
- – Practice networking and using your “elevator pitch” Regardless of where you are in your career, there are some skills that you should be regularly honing – networking is one of those skills. Rather than waiting until you are ready to re-enter the job search, you should be meeting new people and growing your network organically on a regular, on-going basis. Understandably though, this can be difficult sometimes. Career fairs offer an excellent opportunity to meet with people who are in a position to hire candidates and seek their feedback on the way that you present yourself. You can practice your elevator pitch (or, 30-second commercial) and ask for honest feedback with out the pressure of having your actual livelihood on the line. Take notes on any critique that you receive, so that you can make the necessary adjustments well in advance of your next search.
- – Gauge the current market for professionals in your field Another great benefit of attending a career fair is that you can get information about what the market is like in your field or industry. You can talk to recruiters or hiring managers, as well as other seekers, about salaries, upward mobility, and the growth of your field in general. It is very easy to become out of touch with what is going on in the industry around you when you are satisfied with your current position, but it is important to remember that you will not be in your current position forever. Even if you plan to continue with your current company, you will need to do salary negotiation and more when you are ready to move into your next role. Any additional information that you can glean that will help you have an idea of what this market looks like will be beneficial to you in the long run.
- – Get feedback on your resume from hiring managers and recruiters One of the biggest mistakes that jobseekers make is waiting until they are ready to begin the search to worry about their resume. Doing this puts you at a disadvantage because it requires you to “think back” to achievements or duties, meaning that you may not remember some of the key things that you have accomplished that would be beneficial to you moving forward. Additionally, depending on how long it has been since you last sought a new position, there is a risk of appearing dated and out of touch to hiring professionals if your resume has not been updated and reformatted in some time. However, by attending a career fair, you can get feedback on your resume from one (or several) HR perspectives, which you can then apply to your document, ensuring that it is ready when the time comes and you are ready to take on your next role.
If you are interested in attending the HireOhio Alumni Career Fair, there is still time to register. You may do so by visiting us here.
Hope to see you there – Go Bucks!