Ten Tips for Making the Most of Your Job Fair Experience

For many, summertime means going on adventures such as cruises, campouts or cross-country family vacations. This summer, individuals seeking work in the oil and gas industry may do well to embark on a different type of excursion: going to a career fair.

"Attending a career fair is a great way to bolster your job-seeking efforts," said Bob Westerkamp, General Manager of Targeted Job Fairs.

Westerkamp pointed out that job fairs add another dimension to one's job search strategy.

"Most prospective employees stick with the traditional methods of finding a job by answering ads posted in the newspaper or on an online job board," explained Westerkamp. "By attending career fairs, you are putting yourself directly in front of the companies that need your skills, giving yourself a leg up on the competition."

Dale Ann Gold, Pittsburgh-based Career Transition Consultant with REA Career Services, concurs with Westerkamp's assessment.

"Job fairs ... present a unique opportunity to learn first-hand about various companies in a concentrated time frame and present yourself in person to targeted prospective employers," said Gold, adding that such events are invaluable for networking.

"[J]ob fairs present a unique opportunity to grow your network -- and as networking accounts for about 80 percent of all ultimate leads to actual job offers, this is a tactic to strategically include in your job search."

Preparation, professional dress and clarity are essentials for a productive job fair visit, Gold emphasized.

"The biggest mistake a job fair attendee can make is to be unprepared -- preparation in all job search phases is key," Gold said. "[P]reparation will help with marketing yourself, answering anticipated questions and knowing something about the companies you plan to approach."

"For the job seeker, a crisp, clean, first impression -- from your attire to your verbal presentation -- is essential as it portrays a ready-to-go, potential employee.," Gold added.

"Research the companies beforehand and come prepared with well-thought-out talking points and questions," recommends Kristen Lollar, Consultant in Swift Worldwide Resources' Direct Hire Division in Houston.

"Arriving with unique knowledge about the industry helps separate you from those who did not do their homework. Companies will respect and appreciate that you have a vested interest in their business, which ultimately will make you more credible as a potential employee. Make them remember you."

Lollar also advises job fair attendees to go beyond what appears on their resumes in discussions with job fair exhibitors.

"Experience, skills and knowledge are important; however, companies ultimately want to get to know you," Lollar explained. "Let your personality shine through, in a professional manner."

Targeted Job Fairs, a subsidiary of Rigzone's parent company Dice Holdings, Inc., is hosting a series of oil and gas career fairs this summer in Houston, Midland and San Antonio, Texas; Calgary, Alberta; and Pittsburgh, Pa. In addition, Rigzone will feature its oil and gas industry career search resources at the following events:

  • Global Petroleum Show, 12-14 June 2012, Calgary, Canada
  • Global Petroleum Careers, 13-14 June 2012, Calgary, Canada
  • Rigzone.com Career Event London - September 14, 2012
  • Rigzone.com Online Career Event - September 27, 2012
  • AAPG International Conference & Exhibition, 30 September-3 October 2012, Singapore
  • SPE ATCE, 7-10 October 2012, San Antonio, USA
  • KIOGE, 3-6 October 2012, Almaty, Kazakhstan
  • SEG, 4-9 November 2012, Las Vegas, USA
  • ADIPEC, 5-8 November 2012, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • PETEX, 20-22 November 2012, London, UK

Click here for information about these and other recruitment events.

"The response to Dice's Oil & Gas Job Fairs has been extremely positive, both from job seekers and hiring companies," said Westerkamp. "We are adding more events throughout the United States and Canada and look forward to having continued success for years to come."


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