Survey of the month
Preparing for the careers fair
Are you ready for the fair?
Careers fairs are a great opportunity for you to network with employers, gain an insight into the jobs they are offering and even make connections that could eventually help you get a job. But are you ready to make the most of the day? Here are some things to consider...
Before the fair
- Get your CV in shape by getting some help from the Career and Employability Services or by reading our information on CVs.
- Check the organisations attending the fair to plan your time effectively.
- Make a list of who you want to see to use your time effectively; visit their websites to show that you are interested and knowledgeable.
- Keep an open-mind and consider all the options available to you.
- Think about the skills you have and what you can offer a company.
- Make sure you allow yourself at least a couple of hours at the event.
- Bring some paper copies of your updated CV with you.
- Book onto some of the workshops.
- Be prepared to answer questions about your interests and motivations. You may want to write these down to focus your ‘pitch’.
Prepare some questions – here are some ideas to start you off:
- Particular strengths of the organisation
- likely future developments
- find out more about what the jobs actually involve
- current and future recruitment needs
- selection criteria and recruitment methods
- ongoing training and supervision
- working culture/environment
- work-experience, placement and internship opportunities
Watch the videos: our students' advice for the fair
Watch our other Careers Fair Tips on our Youtube page.
Approaching employers at the fair
- First impressions really do count, so dress smartly and approach employers with a smile and positive attitude.
- Introduce yourself, you might want to tell them a bit about your course and career ambitions and ask them the questions you've prepared.
- Be confident about what you can offer. Think about your degree, any work-experience and your range of skills – how might these be relevant and useful for that company?
- If you are interested in a particular aspect of the company’s work, tell them. You’ll be able to get some inside knowledge that could be useful in your application or interview.
- Treat the fair as a first stage interview - recruiters will be seeking out impressive candidates and will remember those people who made an extra effort .
- Make notes after each discussion, including the names of anyone you speak to.
- Keep your mobile on silent, or better still switch it off when you are talking to an employer.
- Make sure you’ve got a copy of your CV ready so you’re not digging around in the bottom of your bag.
After the fair
- Go through your notes.
- Read through company literature.
- Email any contacts that you made and thank them for their time.
- Start applying, don't forget that we're here to help with your applications.
And finally... enjoy yourself
This is a fantastic opportunity to meet with recruiters, seek out new opportunities and to build a network of future contacts that will hopefully lead to your dream job.
We are sure that you will have a successful and enjoyable day but if you have any queries come and find us, either at Careers reception or at one of our stands.
We will be handing out questionnaires on the day, please help us by filling one in - your feedback helps us to plan future fairs.