October 9, 2018, by Carla

How to Get the Most out of Sixty Minutes at a Careers Fair

By Kathryn Moss, Employability Officer

With lots of careers fairs happening at Nottingham, the possibilities available are vast. You might be thinking “How can I fit it all in?!”

We know you’re busy and attending a fair while you have other deadlines looming might feel like a difficult task. Don’t despair, here are four things you can do to prepare; before, during and after, so if you’ve only got sixty minutes on the day, you can make the most of it.

Start thinking early

Getting the most out of a fair on the day means carving out a bit of thinking-time before. It can be particularly helpful to have some ideas about what kind of companies or roles interest you. This way, you know you are not wasting your efforts talking to companies that don’t quite match what you are looking for.

If you have no idea where to start, come and speak to one of our friendly careers advisers. They are highly skilled in helping people who haven’t got a clue what they want to do. You can chat about your interests, goals and aspirations and they will help you start to figure out what options are available.  

Do some research

Find a spare twenty minutes; maybe on the bus on the way to lectures or when you can’t decide what to watch on Netflix during a chilled night in? Use it to look through our fair guide – available on each recruitment fair page – or on the MyNottingham app under ‘Careers Fairs.’ See who is attending and make a list of the companies you want to talk to.

This also means you can plan what you want to ask. Preparing questions can stop you feeling tongue-tied, helping you have better conversations, with more employers. Consider, is it placements, internships or graduate roles you want to talk about? Check that they offer what you are looking for and plan what you want to know more about.

Decide which employers you want to prioritise so that you can speak to them first and if you run out time, you’ve still had some great conversations with your top choices.

Follow a plan

On the day, having a plan can really help you get the most of sixty minutes:

  • Take your list of employers and keep track of who you’ve spoken to
  • Bring a pen and some extra paper to take notes on what the recruiters tell you
  • Keep a record of the names of people you speak in case you want to include them on your application form or covering letter

If you get to the fair and suddenly feel a bit nervous, we can help. There are lots of Careers staff available on the day to talk to and refocus you. Another top tip if you are nervous about making a good impression is to practise asking questions to an employer you are not as interested in first. That way you will get a feel of how the conversation might play out and feel much more confident when approaching someone you really want to speak to.  

Turn your experiences into actions

When you get home, read through any information you have received. Make extra notes on what you have discovered while it’s still fresh in your mind. Double check the deadline dates for the applications that you want to make and consider how you will need to organise your time.

Interested in attending a recruitment fair this autumn? We’re hosting 15! You can view them all here. If you have no idea where to start, book an appointment with a careers adviser or come to a drop-in session.

Posted in Choosing Your CareerEmployer Insights