The job fair can often be an intimidating and competitive place, but they are the perfect opportunity for you to network with prospective employers and help you to figure out what type of job you want when you graduate. Follow these top tips so you can successfully navigate the careers fair minefield!
Your university should provide you with a list of organisations that are going attend the fair, from the list have a look which companies have jobs in the industry that you are interested in. Make a list of around 5-10 companies that you want to talk to, by narrowing them down you will be able to spend your time at the fair wisely and not waste any valuable time by figuring out which companies you want to speak to on the day.
Spend some time researching the companies you have decided to focus on. Those students who are more knowledgeable will stand out to the employers. Go to their websites and have a look at the products/services which they provide and their missions and visions. Also look at the jobs they are offering and what they are looking for from prospective candidates, this way you will be able to tell them exactly why you are right for that organisation!
What to bring?
Make plenty of copies of your CV so that you can hand them out to the companies you are interested in. If you have a list of 10 companies you want to talk to print off 15 CVs, it is better to have too many than too few. If you study a practical subject such as fashion or art you should bring a portfolio of your work with you as companies will usually want to see your work.
Dress to impress
You should dress professionally, there is no need splash out on a completely new outfit but just make sure you look presentable, as this will show employers that you care about impressing them. Use good judgement when deciding what to wear but ultimatley make sure you project professionalism and dress for the job you want.
Keep calm and be enthusiastic
Try to make an impression to the organisations you will be speaking to, start with a strong handshake and a friendly introduction. Speak positively about your skills and experience and give the companies a reason to be interested in you. But remember that listening is just as important as speaking, listen to what they have to say about the company and what they have to say about the type of candidates they are looking for as this could really help you when doing your applications. If you realise that the company isn’t what you expected or not something you are looking for then this is your cue to thank them for their time and to move on to the next company.
The follow up!
This is often the most important part of the career fair, but is something that often gets forgotten by students. The information and contacts that you have gained from the fair may help you find your dream job so why let these contacts go to waste! First of all make sure you email the companies that you have spoken to and include some information about what you spoke about and the date and location of the fair you attended. If you hear back, great! But if not don’t get disheartened, you will get there and you will find your dream job, perhaps in the most unexpected of places.
1 Always get an email address from the employers, this way you will be able to follow up after the fair and pursue any leads.
2 Make sure you plan your time well and get to the fair early to avoid the crowds.
3 Stay positive, the job market is competitive but you will find the job of your dreams, even if it takes you a bit longer than expected.
4 Prepare some questions that you want to ask the employers and some answers to questions that they might ask such as: ‘what made you interested in this company?’, or ‘what type of role are you looking for?’.
5 Always be aware of time, make sure you don’t spend all your time speaking to just one company.
Most importantly make sure you are well prepared, remain positive and let your personality shine through!