Personality and presentation key to career fair success

How to prepare for the upcoming Black Press Career Fair in Langley on May 11

First impressions can make or break a job opportunity.

So, when planning to attend the Black Press Career Fair on May 11, taking some extra time to prepare beforehand will go a long way.

There will be dozens of potential employers at the fair, each looking to recruit for their companies. To stand out from the crowd, there are a few tips job seekers should keep in mind.

“People always say be yourself,” says Danny Horner, a facilitator for GT Hiring Solutions (WorkBC) in Chilliwack. “I agree to a certain extent. But for an employer if you’re going to have 1,000 people walking through the doors, well, what is it about these people that is going to make these employers say yes?”

He tells his clients to dress business casual for career fairs. For those who aren’t sure what that means, he has this advice.

“If you don’t know what it is, Google it, find some images, and wear that,” he says. “At the very minimum, you will look like you care about yourself, and that tells them you’ll represent their business.”

While Horner says it is somewhat overused advice, it’s crucial to remember to be clean, tidy and organized.

“This is the first thing they are looking for,” he says. “People are evaluating or judging, and if you don’t pass that first initial test of, ‘I take care of myself’, then they’re not going to be interested.

That goes for all types of career fair visitors. Horner says fairs are great for students looking for career ideas, for people who want to improve their employment, and for those who are entering or re-entering the work force.

Job seekers should be ready with resumes and cover letters in hand, tailored to the industry they are looking to enter. And students should come prepared with a notebook and pen, along with questions to ask recruiters.

“You should have questions in mind and have an idea of the employers you want to go see, so the conversations are good and effective,” Horner says.

And it’s important to remember that employers are looking for more than just skills and qualifications.

“They are looking for the two Ps,” Horner says, “Personality, but also your presentation.”

They are looking at your body language, your communication skills and confidence.

“As a job seeker, you’ve got to know what job you’re going after. Know your focus,” he says. “Find the employers that fit your focus.”

From there, he recommends building targetted resumes for those employers. Bring those to the career fair, but also bring along some general resumes. Career fairs can open a job seeker’s eyes to an industry or employer they hadn’t considered, and it’s good to be prepared for that as well.

WorkBC (GT Hiring Solutions in Chilliwack) is a resource available to all British Columbians, adds Horner. And connecting with their offices can help with the job search immensely.

“We provide resources for people who may not have internet access, phones, copiers, at no cost,” he says. They also provide case management and workshops for their clients and the general public focused on improving anyone’s work situation.

“For example, I do this workshop, called Check Up From The Neck Up,” he says. “We go through the different categories of our lives. We ask, ‘Where do I want to be in the future? One year from now? Five years from now?

He said it’s not just about the job search, but using the time to improve a client’s life overall. And it’s impossible to know when someone’s career path may change.

“It’s not uncommon at least one time in a person’s life, for whatever reason, to be job searching,” he says. “The cool thing about our industry is we’re not always necessarily fixing somthing that’s broken. There’s always stuff we could all brush up on. It’s about working with people strengths.”

The Black Press Career Fair takes place on Thursday, May 11, at the Langley Events Centre (7888 200 St.), from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., featuring more than 100 employers ready to hire and give career search advice and post-secondary direction. Check out our Facebook page for more details.

Just Posted

Control of Parliament could rest on a handful of ridings – including Agassiz and Harrison’s

UFV political science professor says Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon result could play key role

Drivers warn of slippery conditions on the Coquihalla

Snow is falling at the Summit of the Coquihalla

Three-hour parking coming to Agassiz’s Pioneer Avenue

The three-hour parking spots will be along Pioneer Park in the downtown area

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

VIDEO: Mansbridge documentary to feature Hope, B.C.

New CBC film focuses on how Canadians are feeling prior to federal election

VIDEO: Agassiz lights candles in memory of missing, murdered Indigenous women

The Sisters in Spirit vigil took place at the Agassiz United Church

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

$50,000 reward for ‘extremely violent’ South Surrey murder suspect renewed

Offer for information on Brandon Teixeira to remain in effect through April, 2020

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Most Read