5 things to do before your next hospitality job fair
Going to a hospitality job fair is a fantastic way to meet a ton of employers all at once—plus, you can practice your interviewing and networking skills.
To make sure you’re putting your best foot forward at these events, take a look at our five suggestions.
1. Do some research
A couple weeks in advance, give yourself this quiz:
• Do I need to pre-register?
• Where is it being held? How long will it take you to get there?
• Is there parking?
• What’s the dress code?
• How long does it take place? Are there multiple days?
• What’s the structure?
When it comes to working in hospitality, being prepared is key. By knowing the pertinent details, it’ll be much easier to make a good impression—you don’t want to be that candidate that shows up late because he couldn’t find a parking spot!
Plus, preparing also has a psychological benefit. You’ll feel more prepared and ready, which will come across during your interviews.
2. Make multiple resume copies
Since you’ll be handing out your resume to multiple recruiters, make sure you have more than enough copies.
You might also want to make multiple versions of your resume. Let’s say you’re looking at both restaurant server and host positions; ideally, you’d have two separate resumes, each highlighting your strengths for serving and hosting, respectively.
When you’re carrying out different versions of your resume, it’s easy to mix them up. Avoid any awkward moments by creating a folder for each position type youarere interested in.
3. Make a list
Next, look over the employers who will be attending and figure out who looks the most promising. That might be hard—especially if there are tens or even hundreds of companies showing up.
We recommend doing some research online to narrow down your focus. Explore your potential employers’ website, social media profiles, employee reviews, and so on; not only will this help you decide, “Yes, I’d like to work for them,” or “No, not a good fit,” but it’ll also be invaluable during your interviews with the recruiters.
4. Look at their open jobs
Once you’ve gotten a list, we suggest browsing each employer’s open jobs on Hcareers. Maybe one of the companies you’d like to work for doesn’t have any hotel management positions available—the position you’d like to fill.
While this doesn’t mean you should ignore the company at the fair, you might prioritize speaking to other companies.
5. Prepare a summary
Each recruiter you’re meeting will be meeting hundreds of other candidates, so you need to maximize your time. Having a short, polished elevator pitch will definitely help.
Your pitch should convey a couple things:
1) Why you’re interested in this employer
2) Why you’re a good fit for the role
3) What makes you a unique candidate
We recommend giving this pitch several times to a friend or family-member before the fair; that way, you can get rid of the normal “ums” and pauses that come up while speaking. But don’t practice too much—you don’t want to sound rehearsed.