Wednesday, April 11, 2012

8 tips for successful networking at a job fair as deaf job seeker

Job fairs are a great opportunity to meet potential employers face-to-face and build useful connections. Needless to say, preparation is the key to making a good first impression since some communication issues for deaf job seekers can easily be anticipated.

Here are 6 tips to help you put your best foot forward at the next job fair:
1) Request an interpreter from the host of the job fair prior to the event. If they refuse to provide one, call the Deaf Service Bureau at 1-800-616-4293 to get advocacy.
2) Bring at least 10 copies of your updated resume with your contact info, including email and VP number.
3) Do your homework about all attending companies so that you can ask intelligent questions at the job fair to show your interest and diligence.
4) On the day of the job fair dress professionally and practice good personal hygiene, but go easy on the cologne or perfume to avoid assaulting potential employers' senses.
5) When communicating with any of the vendors at the job fair, make sure to keep your eyes on the person you are talking to instead of your interpreter.
6) Don't ask questions that are focused on your own benefits such as whether health insurance is offered or what the pay for a certain position is.
7) Do ask questions that allow you to offer solutions to the company's problems, or let you show how your skill set can be an asset in helping them reach specific company goals.
8) Be proactive in explaining how you communicate via VP, IP Relay, or in person without an interpreter present so that the potential employer knows communication won't pose a problem.

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