October 13, 2017, by Carla
How to Make the Most of a Careers Fair
By Kathryn Moss, Employability Officer
With lots of exciting recruitment fairs coming onto campus over the coming weeks, we thought that we would share some tips about how you can make the most of your time at the fair, and how to use your time wisely.
If you have never been to a careers fair before or are looking to get some tips, read on as we answer some of our most asked questions…
How should I prepare for the fair?
Firstly, have a think about what you want to get out of the fair. For some, a careers fair can be an opportunity to explore their options and get some inspiration. For others, it can be a chance to find out about specific opportunities or get an insight into – and make a good first impression with – target companies.
Research the employers in advance. We upload the fair guide to our website before the fair, so that you have the opportunity to find out who is there and what’s on offer. You can also find this information on the Careers Fair app, available for Android and Apple phones.
Take some time to make some notes, find out about the size of the company, what jobs they have and what they do. Think about some questions that you might want to ask them. It is always good to have a look at employers you have never heard of before too; you might not know them, but they might offer your dream job!
If you are actively seeking opportunities, consider how you might sell yourself to the employers. What is your unique selling point? Do you have any specific skills and experience that would mean that you would fit in well with the company? Don’t forget, employers will be able to tell if you have done your homework in advance, so why not set out to impress?
What can I do at the fair?
Remember, first impressions count and employers will be looking at how you handle yourself during discussions. Ensure that you make a good impression by being polite and positive during your interactions. You never know, the person you speak to at the fair might be the person who interviews you for the role.
Greet them with a handshake, smile and introduce yourself. Consider what you might want to say to them before you approach the stand to ensure you appear confident and prepared.
Try and make some notes following your conversations with employers about what you have learned and who you have spoken to – it can be difficult later on to remember who said what!
After the fair, do some follow up. This might involve looking in more detail at some of the sectors, companies or roles that have interested you, making applications for specific opportunities or – if you have had a good conversation with someone and managed to get their contact details – dropping them an email to say thanks.
Can I take my CV with me?
Taking your CV with you to the fair is a good idea, providing it is up-to-date. You can book a CV review or bring it along to a drop-in session before the fair.
Help! I still don’t know what I want to do!
If you still feel unsure about what you would like to do or where to start before or after attending the fair, why not come and speak to one of our careers advisers? They are really helpful and friendly and will be able to discuss your specific requirements with you.
Head to our website now to find out more about this term’s recruitment fairs. From finance to science and law, there’s something for everyone.