The Minnesota Veterans Career Fair, the largest event of its kind in the state, is only one week away. And if you’re a U.S. military veteran seeking a job or career, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to connect with employers, educational institutions and attend job search workshops. But showing up probably isn’t enough if you’re looking for a new position.
Instead, we urge job seekers to prepare during this week. Here are some tips to help you stand out among others at the event:
Research companies participating in the career fair. See the career fair’s list of employers. Select from five to 10 organizations where you’d like to work and visit their websites. If they have an opening you are interested in, apply for it, and then discuss it with the employer at the event. Also, find information about the company on its LinkedIn page or Glassdoor .
Prepare a skills-based resume and personal business card. Present your accomplishments, skills, experience and education on your resume. Proofread it so it’s error free. Remove military jargon and acronyms (if there are many) and revise your resume accordingly. Consider translating your military title into an equivalent civilian one. For example, replace “sergeant” for “supervisor.” Create multiple versions of your resume to target them for specific employers.
Post your resume on MinnesotaWorks.net. Indicate that you are a veteran, so that veteran-friendly employers can easily find your resume.
Develop and practice a one-minute self-marketing introduction. Include a greeting, your expertise, accomplishments and areas of interest. You could mention your “soft skills” such as your work ethic and ability to work well with others. Use direct eye contact, show confidence and start a conversation. Don’t give an advertisement.
Make a list of questions for employers. Show interest and knowledge about the organization and be enthusiastic. You might think of a way you can help the person you are speaking with and ask if you could be of assistance.
Dress as if you will have a job interview. Make a great impression on employers by paying attention to your grooming and appearance. You could be interviewed on the spot.
Have a professional looking portfolio ready. It should contain plenty of copies of your resume, and a pad and blue or black pens. Include a personal business card with your contact information that highlights your skills. Bring your smart phone or tablet, allowing you to look up information about companies or people you meet during the event.
Have a positive attitude. Employers look for new hires who they would enjoy working with. Be pleasant and respectful of everyone you speak with, not just the exhibitors who appear to be hiring managers.
Want to know more about the event? The career fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Earle Brown Heritage Center, 6155 Earle Brown Drive, Brooklyn Center. The event and parking is free. DEED’s website has more details.
We look forward to seeing you at the career fair!