Careers Fairs are a fantastic way to find out more about the jobs you are interested in and provide you with a great chance to meet potential employers first hand.
Although this can be a daunting experience, it is a great chance to network, find out about organisations and jobs in more detail, and to take
a first step in the pursuit of a career that is right
What to Expect
It can be overwhelming when you attend careers fairs, and in particular when you attend some of the larger events. They can be noisy with lots of people trying to find out about organisations, career paths and job opportunities.
Depending on the size of the careers fair, there can be hundreds of organisations with stands and the event can seem like a maze. It is a good idea to get a floor plan so that you can speak to the employers that interest you. These will usually be provided to you when you enter the event.
Why you should go
One of the many advantages of attending careers fairs is that you get to put your questions to employers in a face to face situation. Most of the employers attending these events work in Human Resources and will know the ins and outs of their organisation. They will also be able to direct you in your search for a career that suits you. These events are also a great opportunity to network and to make a first impression with many different organisations.
Careers Fairs can be busy and it can be difficult to get the most out of the experience; below are a list of some helpful tips to help you guide yourself before, through and after the event.
- Do your research: Like applying for a job, preparing for an interview or taking a test, you should do your research and be prepared before you attend any careers fairs. This will allow you to build a picture about the kind of jobs that will be advertised, the type of organisations that are attending, and the kind of opportunities that might become available in the future.
- Get there early! In order to beat the queues and to find the event, try to arrive early. This will give you more time to speak to the organisations you are interested in.
- Ask for a floor plan! Make sure you ask for a floor plan so that you know where to find each organisation at the event.
- Prepare your questions: It is very easy to forget the questions you intended to ask employers while queuing and during the hustle and bustle of a busy careers fair. By preparing your questions, you are more likely to remember what you wanted to ask.
- Let the employer know your skills: It’s very unusual for someone to offer you a job at the careers fair. Don’t be disheartened by this. The careers fair is the first step to meeting representatives from different organisations and will allow you to find out whether a role in that organisation will suit you and your skill set. This is also a chance for you to show potential employers the skills you have.
- Familiarise yourself with the organisation’s website and sign up for job alerts: You should familiarise yourself with the organisation’s website before and after the careers fair. This will give you an idea of the organisation, their ethos, what they do and what opportunities are available.
- Organise your time: Although your time might be limited when speaking to organisations at careers events, particularly popular organisations who a lot of jobseeker want to speak to, you should allocate time to see all of the organisations that interest you. If there are queues for some employers, why not move on to a different career stand and come back to that employer later. This will allow you to speak to more organisations and get the most out of the event.
- Follow up: It is very important to follow up with an organisation so that you can get the best out of attending careers fairs. With social media becoming increasingly important for recruitment, it’s useful to follow organisations on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Here you can find out about the company and the latest news and job opportunities that become available.