Tahoe Job Fair: How to get the gig | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Job Fair: How to get the gig

The Tahoe-Truckee "Meet Your Match" Job Fair will take place at Sierra College on Wednesday, Oct. 25. Is your resume ready?

The job market is an ever-evolving place, determining new strategies for marketing oneself as a potential new hire.

The goal is to secure your dream career, but what are the proper steps to take beforehand to maximize your skillset, make a good impression and ultimately get the offer?

Below are tips from two experts, Charlotte Hawley, human resources director of the Crystal Bay Casino, and Brook Oliver, lead counselor of career connections and internships with Sierra College.

"A job fair not only offers so many job opportunities in one place, but allows for a casual and less stressful introduction to various employers and opportunities in the region that a job seeker may not consider, or even know existed. Some employers are prepared to offer jobs on the spot, allowing job seekers the opportunity to skip the initial application and vetting process," Hawley said.

Oliver added the importance of making a good first impression in person, especially in a time where social media and digital platforms often serve as your first impression.

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"While attending job fairs should not be the only method for job search, it can be priceless (and the only chance) to meet company representatives in person. So much of recruitment is virtual — showing up well dressed and well prepared is an excellent way to be noticed beyond all the digital submissions," she said.

Be sure to come prepared with business cards and previously researched information on the companies you're interviewing with, and if you don't have business cards be sure to jot down the representative's name and research the company's website for a primary HR contact to keep in touch.

Preparing Beforehand

Research employers attending, the positions and salary.

Mentally prepare. Take some deep breaths and shake out your jitters.

Dress appropriately.

Practice interview questions.

Prepare positive examples of past work experiences.

Prepare questions to ask potential employers.

Bring a copy of a completed generic employment application and a detailed resume. Handing out a generic resume that doesn't address the specifics of a position often gets put aside if there is not a clear fit for their needs.

How You Show Up

Be kind and positive to all you meet!

Think of first impressions. Shake hands, introduce yourself, look the employer in the eyes, use the employer's name whenever possible, tell them employer the position you are interested in learning more about.

Be organized, listen, and watch your body language.

Relate all answers to the position you are applying for. Answer yes or no questions with longer answers and use examples. Talk about the skills you bring to the position, and not what you will get out of the position. Don't share unnecessary information or negatives about anyone or any situation.

Thank employers for their time. Be honest about your interest in the position and availability. Ask the employer for the best way to follow up or when you will be contacted.

Follow Through

Be gentle on yourself; see any interview or job fair as a learning experience.

Review what you did well and what you could do better next time.

Take the time to customize your resume specific to the position you are seeking.

Follow up within 24 hours with an email thanking potential employers for their time.

Email or call if you haven't been contacted by a stated date.

Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at cwalker@sierrasun.com, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.