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Continued: Two Ways To Stand Out From The Crowd

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Last update: August 4, 2008 - 8:48 AM

2) Get Hired at a Job Fair by Doing Your Homework

One of my clients, Tom W. from Golden Valley, Minn., was just hired for a new position after attending a Minneapolis Star Tribune job fair.

The critical success factor for him was one simple thing he did before the job fair itself: His homework!

Here's the story …

"I kept up on the local business scene by reading regularly. In one magazine article, I learned that one company had picked up 200,000 square feet of office space downtown on a 10-year lease, and I filed that information away," says Tom.

When he saw that company's name listed among the employers at the job fair he planned to attend, Tom knew he had an effective conversation starter.

"When I met the hiring manager at the event, I told him what I knew about their plans to expand, based on my reading. He was impressed with my knowledge and we really clicked. Everything went very quickly after that, ending with a job offer a few days later."

Here are two ways you can be like Tom, and make a fantastic first impression at a job fair …

1. Research and find relevant facts about employers before meeting them.

Good news: All job fairs publish a list of participating employers before the event, which eliminates guesswork. Simply research companies that interest you until you find unusual data about them, their competitors, markets, problems, or opportunities.

2. Bring notes to the event.

Once you've found information that proves your interest in an employer, jot down notes on 3x5 cards (or in your PDA) and bring them to the job fair. That way, you can review your notes before talking to hiring managers, so you can make the best impression, stand out … and get hired.

Kevin Donlin is Creator of Since 1996, he has provided job-search help to more than 20,000 people. Author of 3 books, Kevin has been interviewed by The New York Times, Fox News, CBS Radio and others. His free report, The Simple Job Search Manifesto, is found at

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