HR Roundtable panel member Michael Haberman gives advice to job seekers on how to stand out in a crowd of applicants at a job fair:
KIA Motors recently held a job fair in Georgia, as did the Federal Government. Hundreds, if not thousands, showed up to fill out applications. In a situation such as that how do you stand out from all the others? If the hiring company is only accepting applications and not doing onsite interviews you have to concentrate your efforts on your resume and the application. The human resources staff will be reviewing your paperwork and they will be looking, initially, for reasons to screen you OUT. Resumes that are too long, pictures attached to the resume, misspelled words on both the resume and the application, very poor handwriting, and very long time gaps or too many jobs, even for a poor economy, are all things that will screen you out.
Once your paperwork has made it through the initial screening you may get invited for an interview. This is where you will have an opportunity to highlight your skills, experience and education. Remember, however, you are still at a level where recruiters are looking for reasons to screen you OUT instead of IN. Here are a few tips:
If you have been sufficiently interesting to the recruiter you may get your background and references checked. This leads to a final rule to make yourself stand out. BE TRUTHFUL! False information, embellishments, lies and omissions, despite recent public examples, will not help get you hired. So make sure your resume and application match and that all the information is truthful. Today, that will make you stand out.