Finding a few stellar candidates was the highlight, of course. Meanwhile, I felt sympathetic to those candidates that did not come across well. After chatting with colleagues, I've come up with a few simple dos and don'ts for candidates attending such events...
- Do keep your resume to one page. Some candidates said "I tried to keep it to one page, but just couldn't." They should have tried harder. This is a must.
- Do research the firms beforehand. It says a lot that you take the time to learn something as simple as a firm's primary niche, location, or relative size. That being said...
- Do not use note cards. It's great to research the company, but don't read the research from a note card.
- Do not overstay your welcome. When the conversation stops flowing naturally, it is likely time to say thank you and give a farewell handshake. That said, don't suddenly leave if it's going great and the firm member is clearly engaged.
- Do speak loudly enough to be heard. I'm not suggesting shouting at people, but in a busy event the firm member should not have to lean in or repeatedly ask "I'm sorry, what was that?"
- Do not appear desperate. Talk of how far you drove or how hard you've been looking for a job is not advisable.
- Do have questions ready. Don't leave it up to the firms to ask all the questions. Keep in mind you are approaching their booth.