Never pass up a landscaping industry job fair. They’re full of possibility.
But they can be hectic, loud, and packed with people just like you angling for face time and information.
How to make the most it?
Brooks Lee, account manager at Level Green Landscaping, shares some tips.
Lee staffed a Level Green Landscaping booth at a job fair last fall at Virginia Tech and attended several fairs as a student at the University of South Florida.
“Talking to people, getting a sense of the company culture, can really help you figure out where would be a good fit for you,” Lee says.
For the best fair experience, follow these tips.
Do Your Research
“Some places provide a list ahead of time of the companies that will be attending,” Lee says. “I always went to their websites and looked at the company size, their leadership, their missions and values. Based on that, I’d choose three companies I knew I wanted to have a conversation with. You want to make the most of your time.”
Be Ready To Pitch
“Be prepared to say why you’d make a good job candidate,” Lee says. “You should know how to talk about your strengths and weaknesses.
“More and more, schools are doing a pretty good job of preparing students for interviews, but it helps to practice interview questions with other students,” he says. “Learn from each other.”
Talk about your extracurricular activities, Lee says.
“If you’re involved in the horticulture club or you work at the campus garden, that shows you really have a love for the industry. Anybody can take the classes.”
Update Your Resume and Digital Profile
“Have your physical resume up to date and have copies with you,” Lee says. “I always ask for a copy. It’s good to have an updated LinkedIn profile, too, in case an employer looks you up there.”
Get One On One Time
At the Virginia Tech job fair event, students sat at tables in groups of five and met with each company for eight minutes, Lee says. That’s great, but do your best to get individual time with company reps.
“That’s your opportunity to shine,” Lee says. “Tell us your story and why you’d be a good fit.”
Ask For A Quieter Meeting
Job fairs are loud and hectic. Most company reps would prefer to have coffee or grab lunch with promising candidates for some quieter one on one time. This more relaxed environment gives you better insight into the values and culture of a company.
But do what’s comfortable. Set these meetings in public places. If you aren't comfortable going to an interview alone, bring a friend along.
Ask About Opportunities To Visit
Inquire about internships or a chance to visit companies that intrigue you. Showing this kind of interest proves to companies that you’re serious.
“Be proactive — don’t wait for the employer to follow up,” Lee says. “The next day, or at least within a week, send a follow-up email. It keeps you in the front of our minds. It might remind us to look at your resume again.
“Even if you don’t think you’re interested, you can thank them for the opportunity to talk,” he says. “Who knows? You might change your mind.”
Remember — People Are Watching You
Your behavior is on display — even away from the actual job fair booths.
At big job fairs that last multiple days, the people representing the companies are usually staying in town and will be eating, getting coffee and hanging out where you are.
Just because you aren't in the meeting hall doesn't mean people aren't still watching your behavior.
Check Us Out — We’d Love To Meet You
If you’re interested in working at a fast-growing company in an exciting team environment that values your fresh ideas, consider a job at Level Green Landscaping. Visit our online career center for more information.
We’d love to meet you.