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How Veterans Can Succeed at Career Fairs

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Summary: Career fairs are the perfect setting for veterans who are looking to get back into the working world after returning home from overseas.

Veterans looking for work can improve their chances of landing a job by attending career fairs. You will get the opportunity to speak with hundreds of different employers from various industries. You might even make a couple of strong contacts for the future. Career fairs are an excellent way to get your name out there, showcase your experience and skills and make an impression on those you meet.

Translate Your Resume

One of the first things a veteran must do when preparing to attend a career fair is translate their resume. Almost all of the skills obtained while serving in a branch of the armed forces can be applied to the business world. Now, all you need to do is translate these terms into business-friendly language for business executives to understand. Employers find it difficult trying to determine how a veteran’s skills will transfer to the business world. You can take the guesswork out of the equation for them by doing it yourself.

Have a Plan

Once your resume has been edited so employers can understand your background and skills, you need to create a plan for the career fair. Careers fairs can be quite large, so you should find out ahead of time which employers will be in attendance. Put together a list of employers who you absolutely want to meet with during the fair and a list of those who you would like to meet if time permits. This will help you avoid wasting precious time by visiting every single booth at the fair. You need to weed out the employers that do not match up with your experience or skills prior to attending the event.

Discuss Military Advantages

Another thing you must do during a career fair is point out the military advantages you have gained during  your service. Veterans of the armed forces acquire new skills while serving and sharpen ones they had upon joining. Make sure the employers you speak with at the career fair know these advantages. They could move you to the top of their candidate lists.

Some advantages of serving in the military include the following:

  • Ability to work in teams
  • Disciplined approach to work
  • Ability to succeed under pressure
  • Respect and integrity
  • Leadership
  • Ability to quickly adapt to changes or challenges
  • Strong problem-solving skills

Finish Strong

As you wind down a conversation with an employer, you need to end on a strong note. This includes letting the hiring manager or recruiter that you are interested in their company and the jobs they have available. You should ask for their business card, offer them yours, and even ask to schedule a longer interview with the company.

Veterans are some of the best professionals in the business world today because of the training received while in the armed forces. Take advantage of that training when attending your next career fair.

How Veterans Can Succeed at Career Fairs by
Authored by: Jim Vassallo