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Hiring fair matches employers, job seekers

Employers and job seekers get a face-to-face opportunity to meet thanks to Supporting Employment Transitions' hiring fair.

The event takes place Tuesday (March 8) from 1-4 p.m. at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre and features several post-secondary training institutions and employment service providers fielding questions and offering supplementary resources.

A hiring fair can be a great place to meet an employer, but with so many people attending, it can be overwhelming for both job seekers and employers. Here are some tips to help participants stand out from the crowd.

Know your stuff – Visit the Supporting Employment Transitions website ( regularly to see which employers are attending. These lists are updated frequently.

Do some research on the employers attending and have an idea of the expectations they have of their staff before the fair. This way you can plan ahead and decide which employers you want to leave your resumé with.

Make an entrance – When you arrive, check in at the greeting table. You will be given a hiring fair package which includes a list of employers who will be there that day. Follow the signs at to find the employers you want to meet with.

Be prepared – Dress as you would for an interview. It is always better to be overdressed.

Computers and a photocopier will be available for copies. Book ahead if you would like to update or upgrade your resumé.

Include copies of your resumés, certificates, list of references and reference letters. Being able to provide copies of your skills will help an employer remember you.

Bring pen, paper and personal calendar. Be ready to book that follow up interview.

No gum chewing, food or drink – you only get one chance to make a first impression.

The interview – Estimate up to 10 minutes for each employer you want to meet with. This will allow for waiting times and meeting with any additional employers that show up.

Plan for two to five minutes to market yourself. You need to make the most of your time so be prepared to highlight the skills and qualities that you can offer the employer.

Remember the three keys to all interviews – make eye contact, offer a firm handshake and show interest.

Be prepared to answer the most common question, “What are you here for today?”

A great question to ask an employer who you have shared your resumé with is “What do I need to do to get another interview with you?”

If you are not prepared to speak to an employer or are nervous, try listening in on what is taking place at the booth.

What are they asking other job seekers?   Do they have literature at their booth that you could take and read over before coming back to meet with that employer?

Follow up – The most important part of a hiring fair is to follow up with employers after the event is over.

It can be done by calling employers within a day or two after the hiring fair to thank them for their time or write a thank you note and mail it the next day to the employer. Ensure the employer knows you are interested in meeting with them again.

For more information about the hiring fair or job search assistance available in the Nanaimo area, please contact SET at 250-714-0085 or go to