- Meet face-to-face and network with a variety of prospective employers
- Make an impression before applying for a position
- Find out additional information that will help you determine what type of career you want to pursue
For employers, Careers Fair is a chance to meet large numbers of potential applicants. While they are happy to provide information, they are also judging applicants who approach them, and in a sense performing miniature job interviews. Students / Graduates who are confident, assertive and make good impression are likely to be invited by the potential employer for a longer conversation afterwards. To impress employers, all you need is good planning.
Before the Fair
- Research on the exhibitors before the fair. You can view profiles and job openings of each exhibitor in this website, as well as visit the organization's own website to find out more about them. You can then decide which exhibitors you particularly want to talk to, and you will be able to ask more informed questions.
- Try to prepare some questions in advance and think about the main points that you would want an organization to know about you - it can help you feel more confident.
- Create your CV to highlight the skills you possess that meet the job requirements.
- Develop some questions to ask the recruiters, not those you could easily obtain from the company’s website.
- Prepare a 20-30 second elevator speech to use.
At the Fair
- Bring along sufficient copies of your application letter, CV and education certificates for on-site application and interview.
- Bring a note pad with paper, pen and networking cards.
- Dress formally and professionally to impress the company representatives that you are a sincere and mature person. Remember not to wear much cologne or perfume.
- Wherever possible, try to talk to the representatives in the booth instead of just picking up a brochure. Use the opportunity to introduce yourself to the company representative (using your elevator speech already prepared) and ask your questions face-to-face. If you are feeling a bit nervous about approaching your first choice organization, it can be a good idea to visit some other booths first to practice your technique.
- Establish rapport with recruiters by smiling, making good eye contact and offering a firm handshake. Enquire if they would be willing to set a time to meet for an extended interview and ask for their business cards politely.
- Even if you have a ‘hit list’ of exhibitors, consider other organizations at the fair that are less well known. They might be offering just what you are looking for.
- Make use of your research on the company and ask questions to appear confident and knowledgeable.
- Pay attention to your manner – stand up straight and do not fidget.
- Thank each person you spoke with for his/her time.
- Remember, do your homework and target your visit. Collect as much company information as possible. Pick up leaflets and brochures. These will become useful tools when you have an interview with your target company.
After the Fair
If you are given a business card, write a thank you note to the recruiter afterwards, thanking them for their time and consideration, or noting on it anything that it would be useful to remember. For example: Have they suggested you to email them with further questions? Did they give you advice on their recruitment process?
What if I'm not available on the day?
You can review the profiles of all of the employers who are attending on the Careers Fair website. Within the employer profiles, apart from the employers profile and career opportunities, information is also provided on the employers’ website and in most cases an employer contact for further follow up about applications and positions.
Other hints and tips
- Remember that many of the opportunities are available to students of any discipline.
- Staff on the exhibitor booths are often relatively recent graduates who can tell you what it is really like to work in their organization.
- If you want to have a CV ready to hand over, arrange an appointment at the Careers and Placement Section, CEDARS before the Careers Fair to ask for some CV feedback.
- The fair may be busy when you arrive – don’t be put off. People tend to congregate by the entrance, so head to another part of the fair where it will probably be quieter.
- Avoid walking round the fair with a group of friends. The exhibitor may not realize that you are interested in them, and you could miss out because your friend happens to be more talkative than you!
- If you feel overwhelmed, and don’t know what to do or where to start, make sure you visit the Careers and Placement reception counter for help.