November 10, 2015, by Alice Gould
The Verdict Is in… What Employers Wanted at the Law Fair
By Alice Gould, student blogger
Aside from a great opportunity to stock up your stationery collection, there is another great reason to attend the Law Fair: you might get spotted by a potential employer and increase your likelihood of being hired.
The reason employers attempt to lure you in with the promise of freebies is partly because they want to promote their firm to you, but also because they want to meet future employees and see if you’ll fit well within the firm.
To discover exactly how to make the best impression and what impact it can have I went to the Law Fair and quizzed various firms.
What I discovered employers were after
The first thing that almost all employers I spoke to wanted was enthusiasm. They want people who care – not only about the place of employment, but also who come across as genuine and friendly people. I asked whether the representatives at the fair preferred students to come ‘suited and booted’ and the answers varied depending on the type of firm – it’s a good idea to research the employer’s culture before showing up.
How much are you expected to know?
Speaking about researching culture – something I was curious about is how much employers expected you to know about them. It’s obviously impossible to know everything about each employer you want to visit at fairs like this – but they all said that at least basic research is needed. The best thing I would recommend is to pick five or six employers you definitely want to speak to and research them and their sectors. This is the same for applying for vacation schemes and training contracts too – employers suggested you shouldn’t be applying to more than six.
How can you catch attention (in a good way!)?
The best way to get noticed at a careers fair is to ask questions. Ask three to four questions about something that interests you about the firm. This will also show the firm that you’ve done your research. One firm advised that once you’ve heard the answers at the Law Fair it’s a good idea to later repeat them in your application to show you have a real insight into the firm.
Another good way to make an impact if you hit it off with the person you’re talking to is to ask for their contact details. Nothing personal – maybe a work email or ask if you can connect with them on LinkedIn. If this is affirmative make sure you actually do contact them – it’s just another way to get your name known and establish those all-important connections.
Does doing all this ACTUALLY improve your chances?
Every employer I spoke to was adamant that if you introduce yourself and make a good impression not only will they remember you; it will also help you if you do decide to apply to their firm. Many of the representatives I spoke with worked in recruitment so they’ll be the people processing the applications. If they remember you and your name some said they’ll take particular note of your application. One firm even mentioned that if you have been keeping in contact with your connection they will seek out your application and push it forward.
Overall the judgement is clear and unanimous – all fairs matter, do your research and make a great impression!
What did you discover at a careers fair that you didn’t know beforehand? Let us know in the comments section below. If you would like to know more about a career in the law sector, visit our website. You can also find more about the 2018 Law Fair here.