May 25, 2014

Job Fair, Part 3

Maximizing results from a job fair depends on the follow-up that is done after the event. You spoke to various people about their opportunities and the possibilities that they had available to you and everyone else that passed by them. What happened after the fair? What did they do, and what did you do, to follow-up?

Perhaps you provided your information to someone at the fair and they called you afterwards. Maybe they wanted to meet with you and chat further about the possibilities that they have. Maybe they wanted to discuss some specific opening because they believed that you were a match. Did you speak with them or let the call go to voice mail? If it did, did you return the call to see what they wanted?

Maybe the person who called you wanted to set a date and time to meet for further conversation or an interview. Did you agree to the appointment, or did you say that you were not interested? If they called you for a follow-up meeting, why did you not want to have a further conversation? What did you have to lose? You must never turn an offer down before it is actually made to you.

If you agreed to meet, did you show up for the meeting? Not showing up for a meeting without calling first is rude. It is also negative marketing that might be the topic of later conversation between possible employers. You have wasted their time and yours and gained nothing for the effort. That is the same as taking yourself out of the market, and it is very negative karma.

Maybe you didn’t provide your information to the people with whom you spoke at the fair, but you have their names and contact information. Did you contact them to discover what possibilities they may have available? Maybe something opened up with them after the fair; maybe they are willing to discuss your abilities and experience even though you are not their exact candidate. You will never know unless you call.

If the prospective employer does not contact you or does not have your information, contact them. What do you have to lose? The possibility of making a successful contact should outweigh any “inconvenience” on your part. If they react badly, what have you lost? If they react positively, congratulations, you are networking and marketing yourself correctly. If you don’t succeed with them, they may refer you to someone.

Follow-up conversations might result in your being the perfect candidate for the person with whom you speak. You may not be their perfect match, but they might know someone else for whom you may be a candidate. It never is wrong to ask for that referral. However, unless you have the follow-up conversation, you never gain that advantage because they don’t know you, decide if they like you, or trust you.

Job fairs are very powerful tools for employers to use to fill their ranks of personnel. They can be equally powerful tools for candidates to market themselves. Both must do their follow-up and have those conversations after the fairs to learn whether they know, like, and trust each other. Information gathering works both ways and can benefit both parties. But both parties must follow-up to gather that information.

Please leave me your comments, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691. Appreciation Marketing applies both during and after job fairs. Utilize it to maximize your career search and eventual success. You have nothing to lose by trying?

May 18, 2014

Job Fair, Part 2

Last week attendance at job fairs was discussed, including various ideas as to what to do at these events. As a person with a table at a fair last week, let me point out some more tips to future attendees at this type of event. Sometimes common sense is the most important aspect of these tips, but often that is not so common.

Job fairs are a venue for those who are looking to acquire candidates for open positions with their companies. These companies may also use the fair as a testing ground for positions that may not be available at this time. They wish to see what type of candidates may be available if they were open. While this does not help the candidate who wants a new position now, it does provide valuable information for the company in their recruiting as well as their staff makeup.

Of course the majority of attendees are those who are looking for new careers. This search may be because the seeker is not currently employed. Also, the person may be drawing a salary, but dislikes today’s position, company, manager or supervisor, commute, or career advancement possibilities. It doesn’t matter the reason that they are in attendance, they all share one aspect of their situation.

These personnel must realize that they are marketing a product which they must know better than anyone else, and they must realize that they are engaged in this marketing. Often I hear people say that they don’t want a career in sales or marketing. They usually do not understand that these two areas are very distinct and different from each other. Marketing is getting others to want what you have to offer; in this case that is you.

Presentation is a large part of marketing. In this case, it includes how you appear to others; you must dress for success in the apparel that most employers would want you to wear while working. You also must consider your personal appearance. You must be clean, well groomed, and not sweating, odorous, or looking as if you have not shaved or combed your hair in days.

In addition, you must be able to speak in an intelligent manner. If possible, you should research the businesses that are at the fair to attract prospective candidates and what type of personnel they are hoping to find. In other words, discover what they want and help them find it. Can you parlay that information into a possible position for yourself if you are not exactly what they need? This is marketing basics in any situation.

Be prepared with adequate paperwork to provide to prospective employers. That would include an up-to-date resume, a reference list of people who actually have spoken with you recently, questions for the prospective employers, and any other information that you may need. Obviously the research that you do before the fair regarding the employers who will attend is very important for your preparation.

Job fairs can be very productive for the employers who are looking for prospective employees. They can also be the path to a new career for those who do their research and preparation prior to the fair. It does not matter how you feel about marketing, you are marketing a product that you must be able to present to others. That product is you, and failure to present a professional marketing effort results in a lack of career success.

Please leave me your comments, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691. Remember that Appreciation Marketing is a 24 hour process for all of us.

May 11, 2014

Job Fair

There is a no cost Job Fair on Wednesday, May 14th, from 1 – 5 PM, at the Red Lion at the Quay, 100 Columbia ST, Vancouver, WA 98660. As a participating business, some helpful ideas on these events seems appropriate. Come see us at the fair and give us your thoughts on Appreciation Marketing as a business guideline.

Why does anyone attend these events? If you are looking for a new career, dislike your current position, commute, manager, or company, or just want to test the market, you may want to attend job fairs. Maybe you are out of work and want to market your talents to various businesses; perhaps you just want to learn about different opportunities.

This type of event offers an occasion to discuss options with multiple businesses at one time. You may meet recruiters, businesses in your field of interest, or representatives from industries that you may not have considered. It is the chance to market yourself or to gather information that you may need in your future.

As in any networking event, you have the opportunity to impress the participating businesses who may want to offer you a new career. You also have the time to gather information about business and industries without the pressure of a formal interview situation. Finally there are many people from different backgrounds in attendance that you might meet and from whom you may gain information.

Make sure that you look your professional best, but wear comfortable shoes because you may be “on your feet” longer than you might expect. Arrive on time to be able to take advantage of the maximum time available. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity because you didn’t leave enough time to look around.

Remember to never turn down any option before it is actually offered. Always leave a door open to have a discussion about any potential with any industry. If you are interested in a particular business, but not the opportunities presently available, let the representatives know that you find the business interesting and that you wish to have further discussions.

Always allow enough time to chat with other participants. They may have researched other businesses or industries that may interest you. Their information may help you in your quest or it may shorten your search time. No amount of information is too little or too much when you need it. In addition, it is not who you meet, but who they may know that might help you, and you may be able to assist someone else in their search.

Job fairs are wonderful for information exchanges for all present, especially businesses wanting to showcase their opportunities to career seekers. The setting is informal, more relaxed than an interview setting, perhaps the smooth beginning of a more in-depth process, and very inexpensive for all. Make a great impression, gather information from everyone you meet, and market yourself to anyone there, anyone at all.

Please leave me your comments, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691. Job fairs are excellent opportunities to showcase your talents and great experience to multiple participating businesses, to research industries and businesses that you may not have considered, and to receive information from others in attendance regarding other opportunities and ideas. Your information may even help them also.

May 4, 2014

No, Part 2

“No” is the most depressing word that you will ever hear, right? As marketing people, we hate to hear that word. It means that we have failed in our quest. It doesn’t matter why they tell us this, we have failed. Maybe we have just spent time marketing our business’s product or service; maybe we have just wanted to start a relationship with a new acquaintance. We are a failure, useless to ourselves and to our business.

Before we slink off into the corner, hide under a blanket, or slit our wrists, let’s take a deep breath and think what this word means. Is it the end of the world, both for us personally and in business? Does it mean that we are total failures in our search to represent our business or to make new friends and build relationships? Of course not, it just means that whatever we were after at that moment will not be ours.

How many times did Thomas Edison fail before he discovered how to make the electric light bulb? Did he stop? How many times have many thousands of successful people been fired from jobs for which they were not suited, only to find success, and joy, in their later lives in pursuits that brought them to our attention as mentors and trainers?

Every time that anyone tells us “No”, they have brought us closer to the person who will say “Yes”. As a marketing person who only wants to market to someone, we must expect to receive rejection, even when all we want to do is meet and get to know someone. We cannot let this get us down; we must not allow this temporary setback delay our success any longer than the moment at hand.

When I spent my first career in business developing computer systems, I heard all the excuses. ”That won’t work here.” “We have never done that in that way.” “We aren’t that type of organization.” “We do things differently here.” Well, if we don’t try new things, we may never get new results.

A friend of mine always says “If you always do what you have always done, why are you surprised if you always get what you have always gotten before?” If we try something new, and it doesn’t work, undo it and try something else. If we can try something for free, and it works, we have found something great without spending anything.

As marketing people, we must get acquainted with hearing “No”. We cannot get everyone to agree to hire us, purchase whatever we have to offer, or even meet with us to get acquainted. It just will not happen. We may even get more rejections than acceptances, especially if we are starting a new endeavor or offering a new product or service or trying to make a career change. We must persevere.

Negative feedback must not have a devastating effect on us; we must learn from it. If it means that our approach needs changing, we must adapt. If our choice of target market needs adjusting, we need to do so. We cannot let rejection be our downfall; we must believe in ourselves and our ability to hear, learn, adjust, and succeed.

Please leave me your comments, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691. Need to reach out to someone to help them deal with rejection? Why are we waiting to act? That is where relationships and partnerships are most successful. Be of help to someone today or let someone help all of us be better. Don’t let “No” win.