E-mail, social media, texting, online applications…It is the age where much of our communication is done through digital media. Face-to-face meetings or picking up the phone to hear a voice on the other end may seem almost obsolete in some cases. But don’t let our tech age fool you! These simplified means of information exchange should never become your only (or even main) form of communication when job hunting.
Avoid this Common Mistake!
“Finally, I have to mention the most common and worst mistake job seekers make: Spending all their time answering ads, or sending out their résumé to blind contacts, instead of making meaningful connections and doing face-to-face networking,” wrote Forbes’ Susan Adams in her July 26, 2013 article (“Stop Screwing Up Your Job Search In These Ten Ways”). In the piece, experts shared that over half of jobs needing to be filled are not actually posted and that around 80% of jobs are found through direct contact with employers. In other words, face-to-face interactions is still one of the most effective ways to of standing out, being remembered, making an impression and forming potentially long-lasting professional relationships.
Attending a career or job fair is a great way to network and meet potential employers face-to-face. “You’ll have the opportunity to meet with employers that you might not be able to access any other way,” says About.com’s job search expert, Alison Doyle (“Tips for Attending a Job Fair”).
Some recommendations for attending a career fair:
- Dress the Part: Wear a professional outfit, just like you would for a job interview.
- Get There at the Beginning: Being “fashionably late” does not apply when attending a career fair. If you get there at the beginning, you can beat the rush and have more face-to-face time with prospective employers.
- Be Prepared: Before the career fair, find out which agencies and companies are attending. Do your homework–research employers and the positions they are hiring for so you can plan on who you would like to talk to.
- Practice Your Pitch: Plan a brief pitch of what you’d like to say to prospective employers (such as a summary of your education, skills and experience, whether you are looking for a job or internship, and also any questions you may have).
- Come Equipped: Bring copies of your cover letter, resume and business cards. You can tailor your cover letters to those companies/agencies attending (and also bring extras for other employers you meet that day). Also ask if you may take their contact information/business card so you can follow-up, thanking them for their time and expressing your interest in a position.
Some Upcoming Criminal Justice Career Fairs
Atlanta Police Department
October 28 and November 8 & 9
Make sure you read their online instructions before attending: https://www.joinatlantapd.org/recruitingevents.htm
Government Career Fair
November 1 ~ National Louis University (Chicago)
Employers include the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, the Schaumburg Police Department, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, etc.
To Register: http://www.nl.edu/studentservices/careerdevelopment/careerevents
Texas Department of Criminal Justice
November 4 ~ Austin Memorial Library, Cleveland
November 5 ~ Coldspring Library
November 6 ~ Shepherd Public Library
Ohio Council of Criminal Justice Education Career Fair
November 8 ~ Tiffin University’s Heminger Center
If you know of any criminal justice career fairs taking place, let us know! You can post the info on our Facebook page so we can help spread the word:https://www.facebook.com/criminaljusticeschools