I came up with a strategy a few years ago that really paid off, but you have to be a little bold to try it.
When the job fair is over the recruiters often compare notes to create a short stack of viable candidates. One of the tips I started using several years ago was grading my own resume before I handed it to the recruiter. Not kidding…I would hand-write something like ‘Great fit’, ‘Excels at communication’ or ‘Great attitude’ and put two or three stars on it. I started doing this because having spent several years as a hiring manager, nothing would frustrate me more than sifting through a stack of resumes at the end of the day trying to find that person who really impressed me and not being able to. It was totally my fault…I had gotten so wrapped up in talking with an awesome prospect that I forgot to make notes and I found myself wishing someone would have bailed me out by making the notes for me. Ding…light goes on.
Fast forward to a few years from then when I decided to upgrade my career and move on to a new company. As I mentioned above, I self-graded my own resume. I found when I handed someone my self-graded resume it was a natural conversation-starter, which was very good (“You’re a confident one, aren’t you?” “Yes, I am, and here’s why…”), but more importantly it made me memorable to the recruiter. Also, if multiple recruiters are working the job fair it is far less likely that one will absent-mindedly discard a resume if they think one of their co-workers graded it positively.
Try it for yourself and let me know in the comments section below how it works out for you.