Nursing Career Fairs: How to Network Like a Pro

February 17, 2015

Nursing Career Fairs: How to Network Like a Pro

The further along you move in your nursing education, the more you’ll begin to think about job hunting. If you’re wondering where to begin looking, career fairs might offer you the best opportunity to network with medical professionals who represent health organizations.1These events could afford you the chance to make a good impression with top recruiters interested in hiring freshly graduated students. Here are some tips to help you take full advantage of your opportunities at nursing career fairs.

 

Research exhibitors.

One of the best parts about career fairs is that there may be a diverse group of organizations attending. Time magazine suggested that you should prepare for these events by educating yourself on the companies that will be in attendance.2 Some facilities specialize in certain kinds of medicine, so you should know as much as possible about them before walking through the doors. You might be able to set yourself apart from other candidates by being knowledgeable about specific health organizations. If there’s a company you’re particularly interested in, make sure you find out their latest news and press releases by visiting their website. This could create an opportunity to ask a rep a question about how a current project is going. Showing a personal interest in a company can help foster a genuine connection with a representative.

 

Prepare an introduction.

Attending a career fair isn’t about simply handing resumes off to recruiters and collecting information packets about companies. The Division of Student Affairs at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University explained that you should come up with 20 to 30 second sales pitch about yourself to present to potential employers.3 You don’t want to sound boring – you want to be able to convey why you’re there and what interests you about the careers they have to offer applicants.

 

Arrive early.

According to Experience, Inc., you should plan to show up to the event before the doors officially open.4 Typically, these events provide maps that display the layout of the fair, allowing you to see where the companies you researched are stationed in the room. By showing up early, you may also be able to gather literature from organizations you weren’t able to research and learn more about them as you walk around. Additionally, you might be able to catch the representatives when they’re feeling fresher and excited to discuss the open opportunities they have available.

 

Follow up.

Some recruiters at the event may accept hard copies of your resume, but others might instruct you to apply to positions online. Regardless of their preferred method of communication, you should take their business cards and be sure to follow up with them about your conversations, according to U.S. News and World Report.5 This message should remind them of your conversation and any nursing training you may be actively participating in. Also make sure to express your strong interest in joining their organization. This action might keep you at the front of their minds when they decide to sit down and review the candidates they met at the fair.

 

1http://voices.yahoo.com/the-benefits-attending-job-fairs-248256.html?cat=31

2http://business.time.com/2007/08/20/how_to_attend_a_job_fair/

3http://www.career.vt.edu/JobSearchGuide/JobCareerFairPrep.html

4https://www.experience.com/alumnus/article?channel_id=career_fairs&source_page=home&article_id=article_1206469929283

5http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2012/03/28/10-steps-for-flourishing-at-a-job-fair

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The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Ultimate Medical Academy.

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