Job fairs are massive events in which the organizers place a stand where they receive, per hour, hundreds of Résumés of candidates in search of the ideal job opportunity.
Job fairs, in spite of being very crowded events, give an advantage to the applicant that the job sites do not: the possibility to have a face to face interview with the recruiter, allowing them to get precise information about the recruiter such as: name, phone number, e-mail.
Job fairs are becoming more popular because there, recruiters focus on getting useful résumés to cover specific current needs or future ones. Of the 87% of the people that go to a job fair only 25% are required for an interview, of this percentage less than a 5% get real job proposals. This is due to the fact that many organizations go to a job fair just to be present even if they have no position openings available.
A problem with job fairs is that many recruiters only get information without dedicating personal time to the applicants. In spite of that, the possibility to give personalized information represents an advantage over the job sites. The main tool to be successful in these scenarios is “differentiation” which allows you to outstand from the rest of the people there.
When going to a job fair you should have an effective strategy with differentiators because this is the only way to be ahead of the hundreds or thousands of people who will be there. One of these differentiators is the covering letter. The fact of delivering a Résumé without a covering letter may be the difference in the job fairs or the job sites. You have to suggest what you can do for the potential employer. The covering letter is your provoking element.
It is strongly recommended that before going to a job fair you prepare an envelope addressed to the “Human Resources Department” if you do not have the name of the recruiter. Most people who go to these events take their Résumé in a folder which turns them in another applicant. With a personalized envelope you will outstand and be different.