The Art and Craft of Job Fairing

The Tel Aviv Yafo Municipality and the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption are organizing a biannual job fair for olim on Sept. 20 at Tel Aviv’s Heichal Ha Tarbut.  As you may know, a job fair is more than an opportunity to help you find a job; it is a strategic opportunity to network, to plan your career, and to advance your professional path.

We at the Tel Aviv Municipality’s Olim Department (And for us, olim is anyone with their accent intact or prefer to receive information or services in English :)) would like to help you prepare most effectively for this potential opportunity, and be able to leverage the fair toward paving a most fulfilling career path.

Below are some tips to help you master the art and craft of job fairing:

STRATEGIZE:  You will be given a list of companies or organizations with booths, either ahead of time or on will see on the spot.  Take a look. If you have the time, research potential company booths you would like to visit. Plan where you would like to target and invest the most time.

Furthermore, for each company and position available, analyze how you and your skill sets would render you an asset to that company.

COME WITH AN OPEN MIND: Tel Aviv Yafo is the Start Up City, and many hi-tech companies fill its landscape. Even if your background is not in high tech (or another field), plenty of these companies, as well as others,  look for ‘non tech’ (a.k.a. liberal arts types with good communications and people skills) to fill marketing, investor relations, and sales positions. So come with an open mind, and go to any booth that interests you.

CV PREPARATION: Make sure your CV is ready both in hand and available by your phone. So that when you meet with a potential employer, you can immediately forward your CV via a mode a potential employer prefers.  In this manner, you demonstrate initiative and consideration.

Moreover, in Israel, potential employers prefer a one-page CV. So keep it short and simple. You can always add in more details via a good cover letter or elevator pitch.

DRESS: OK, we know it is Israel and casual is in style. Nonetheless, casual and neat – and put together can go hand in hand. Dress as you would for an interview.

NETWORK:  In Israel, perhaps even more so than many countries, networking is crucial to advancing your career. While your stats on paper may equal to the next person, if he or she knows someone in the company, a company in many cases may rather go with a known. So go out there and meet people. Follow up with a nice email. Exchange cards. In addition, many jobs after the fair never are advertised formally, but rather by word of mouth. Keep yourself in the loop and network.

PERSONAL ELEVATOR PITCH: Now is the time to prepare your personal elevator pitch. (It is not just for start ups, and here, you are the start up)

How would you present yourself and what skill sets you can offer to an employer, each defined in 3 short sentences? Write your personal points on an index card and practice.

Other thoughts to add to your pitch: How have you helped former employers or organizations succeed concretely in meeting their goals? Thus, how can your skills and talents bring value to a potential company.

Be ready for 1, 2 or several short pitches that are authentic to you, and that you can adapt to the person in front of you seamlessly.

NOTES: Take notes on whom you meet, as well as any information you would need to remember in a follow up email or interview. Thus, when you follow up, your email would demonstrate thoroughness and professionalism.

THANK YOUS: Your mother and father were right. Write your thank you notes to anyone who took the time to meet with you. Again, your action would demonstrate to a potential employer not only how you would relate within the company, but also to potential customers, service suppliers, investors, and other outside stakeholders.

We look forward to hopefully seeing you on September 20.

Yours, Jill

About the Author
Ms. Jill Reinach is currently the Director of Projects for English Speaking Olim Residents at the Tel Aviv Yafo Municipality. She is a Former Advisor to then Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres, Speaker of the Knesset Dalia Itzik and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ms. Jill Reinach was also an adjunct lecturer in the Argov Fellows Program in Leadership and Diplomacy at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy, as well as in the Raphael Recanati International School at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya. During her tenure at the MFA, Ms. Reinach was a member of the official Israeli Press and Information Delegations to the Madrid and Moscow Peace Conferences; the Aqaba Summit; the Washington Middle East Peace Talks; as well as the Dead Sea Peace Talks. She also worked in Israeli Government Media Centers during times of crisis, as well as at The Hague during the International Court of Justice Proceedings on Israel’s Security Fence. Ms. Reinach holds an International Executive MBA Degree from Kellogg-Recanati (Northwestern University-Tel Aviv University) and a BA in History from the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Reinach has served as President of the Kellogg Recanati Alumni and on the Board of the Youth Renewal Fund (now part of Darca-Rashi).