How to Prepare for a Job Fair

Job fairs are a great opportunity to connect with companies in the area and start to learn more about industries you might be interested in. Whether you’re searching for a job or just trying to network, job fairs can be a great place to get started.

Our team has put together some tips on how to make your first or next job fair a success!

Do Your Research

Most job fairs have a list of companies or industries that will be at the event. Look up the businesses before the event and figure out which ones interest you. Then, when you’re there, you’ll be able to dedicate time to visiting those booths first, instead of wandering around aimlessly.

If you find a company that catches your eye, it might be useful to see if they have any open positions posted on their website or a job board. Then you can learn more about positions that you might qualify for so you can ask better questions when you show up.

Come Prepared

When you start looking at job fairs, you might notice that some of them allow you to register before the event. It’s always a great idea to pre-register if they let you! That way, employers can review your information before the event even starts.

Here are some other tips for coming prepared:

  • Look your best! Dress in business attire and be sure to shower beforehand.
  • Print off your resume. It’s always a good idea to have a few copies with you. Not sure how to write a good resume? Click here for some tips.
  • Bring a few copies of your cover letter. Most employers won’t ask for it, but it’s best to bring it just in case. Need some help? Read our blog.
  • Hand out business cards. If you have business cards, it’s a good idea to bring them with you and to hand them out to the people you meet so they can remember you.
  • Come with questions. They’ll help you start a good conversation with employers. If you aren’t sure what to ask, click here for ideas.

Make sure to put your best foot forward when you’re at the job fair. Above all else, be professional, but be yourself!

The BCVision team works to help develop the workforce in Battle Creek. We are happy to provide assistance and resources, whether you’re looking for a job, in the process of interviewing for a job, or just want to develop skills in your current position. Reach out to partners like Michigan Works! Southwest for a list of available job fairs and opportunities, or contact us for more information.


How to Ask for Reference Letters

Hunting for a new job or applying to a college are not easy tasks. There are many steps of the process that can seem complicated or even intimidating. Hunting for a new job or applying to a college are not easy tasks. There are many steps of the process that can seem complicated or even intimidating.

Our team has created guides to improve your resume and your cover letter, but now we’re extending beyond the initial job hunt to include references. How do you request a letter of recommendation for a job, scholarship, or when you join an organization? We’ve got the answers.

Who Should I Ask?

This is a great question to start with, because a lot of people feel like they don’t know the best strategy when it comes to letters of recommendation.

Our tip is to ask someone who is not one of your references. This is because many people have days that are packed with obligations and activities. Asking someone to be your reference, as well as to provide a letter of recommendation, can put a lot of pressure on one person.

Additionally, employers and schools want to hear about you from a variety of people. When your references are different from your contacts for letters of recommendations, you demonstrate how wide your network is and reinforce your great traits.

How Should I Ask?

The specific way that you ask for a letter of recommendation depends on you, your industry or area of study, and your relationship with the person writing the letter. As a general rule, it can be useful to send an email to the person in question, because they can refer to it in the future if they forget anything.

When you write to your connection, be sure to include a few things in your letter, such as:• When you need the letter of recommendation by• If there is a word or page limit or minimum that they need to be aware of• A few things you would like them to highlight in their letter• If you are using this letter for any specific reason (i.e. applying to college, applying for a specific job, etc.)

When you ask your contact to write this letter, it’s a good idea to tell them at least a little about which skills or projects you would like them to highlight. That way you can be sure the letter you receive fits what you need it for.

When Should I Ask?

Letters of recommendation can take a while to write. Make sure to give your contact at least a week to write it, but the more time you can give them, the better.

If you’ll be graduating from high school soon, or if you know you’ll be job hunting in the near future, it might be a good idea to reach out to your contacts now. That way, you can give them plenty of time to write a great letter of recommendation for you.

The BCVision team is dedicated to developing the workforce and fostering talent development in Battle Creek. We are happy to provide assistance and resources, whether you’re looking for a job, applying to a college, or want to further your education to move up in your career. Contact us for more information.

Meet Israel Flores, Our June “Get Caught” Recipient

BCVision is challenging community members to “Get Caught” moving Battle Creek forward through job creation and training, talent development, and community vitalization.

Meet Israel flores

Israel Flores is a Business Development Specialist at Northern Initiatives, which is a non-profit community development financial institution. Northern Initiatives works to provide loans to small business owners and entrepreneurs in Battle Creek and beyond. In his role at the company, Israel helps grow our community by developing businesses that will stay right here in our city.

Before he had this position, Israel worked for the Calhoun Intermediate School District (CISD). There, he taught English to families who primarily spoke Spanish. Because of his background, Israel knew how many opportunities families were missing out on in the community due to language barriers.

creating a culture of vitality

Israel strives to create access to resources for everybody, and he specializes in helping minorities. His background and knowledge allow him to explain loans and financing with ease and assurance to many different people.

Battle Creek has access to a lot of great resources, but it can be hard for members of a minority community to ask for help. This is often because people don’t know who to ask for assistance. Israel makes it easy for minorities to navigate Battle Creek’s resources and gain access to the funding they desire.

The best part

We asked Israel what he believes is the best thing about Battle Creek. Based on his desire to help others in his community, his answer isn’t very surprising. “The best part of Battle Creek is the community: a community who wants a better and thriving Battle Creek, a community who believes in Battle Creek and doesn’t give up, and a community that values people who try to make a difference.”

Do you know someone who is helping to move our community forward? Learn more about how to nominate someone today. While you’re at it, make sure to read about our past “Get Caught” recipients like Tyler Gilland, Bernie Kerschbaum, and so many more!