10 tips to help you get the most out of a careers fair
Author: sam | Date published: 22/10/15
As a student or recent graduate taking the next step towards your dream job can be daunting. You may not have a lot of work experience or you may be apprehensive about being in a new environment. It is perfectly reasonable to feel a bit nervous but a careers fair is a great way to ease yourself into job interviews and job hunting.
A careers fair is a two-way street, employers and recruitment agencies want to make a good impression as much as you do. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of a careers fair:
- Research the companies that are attending, which ones focus on your area of expertise and which ones would you like to find out more about? Put a list together and make sure you visit each exhibitor stand on your list.
- Update your CV and print copies. Employers and recruitment agencies will be looking to find out more about your skills and experience. They will be happy to take a copy of your CV so they can easily get in contact with you if a relevant position becomes available.
- Create a LinkedIn account. If you haven’t already set up a profile on LinkedIn. Many employers and recruitment agencies use LinkedIn to find suitable candidates and you could be the first to hear of relevant opportunities if you are connected to the right people.
- Plan your outfit. While you don’t necessarily need to look really smart it is better to dress on the smarter side of casual and avoid wearing trainers. Don’t feel like you have to dress plainly to look presentable, wearing something with a bit of colour and personality should make you more memorable.
- Prepare answers to common interview questions. While a careers fair is not as formal as a job interview, employers will still be looking to find out more about you. They may ask about your degree, the subjects you have studied and what your career aspirations are. If you are prepared you will feel more confident and be able to deliver answers clearly and concisely.
- Think about questions you may want to ask. If you are speaking to a recruitment agency you might want to ask what types of companies they work with and what sort of roles they have available. If you are speaking directly to an employer you may want to find out what the work environment is like and whether they offer training and further qualifications.
On the day
- While it may be comforting to stick with your friends you are likely to get more out of a careers fair if you visit each exhibitor stand as an individual. This will allow you to ask all the questions you want without feeling like you have to share the conversation with someone else.
- Remember to smile. Even if you are nervous don’t forget to smile when you talk. People you are speaking to will find you more engaging when you smile and you will feel more confident.
- Take notes. If you are told to visit an employer’s careers page or if you get given any advice be sure to jot it down. After the careers fair you can follow up on all the contacts you have made and apply for any vacancies using their preferred application method.
- After each conversation use LinkedIn to connect with the employers and recruitment consultants you meet. This way you will be the first to know if a new vacancy becomes available as often these will be shared on LinkedIn.
For more information and advice about finding the right IT or engineering job contact us on 029 20 252 500.