Autumn is upon us. Universities across the UK are organising their careers fair. These events are a great opportunity for you to meet with employers, recruiters and alumni. Do not miss out on the chance to ask questions and learn as much as you can. Here are our 5 top tips to help you make the most of your careers fair:
1. Plan ahead
Find a programme a few days before the event, learn about the companies who will be attending and if there will be scheduled talks or presentations. If you can’t attend all of them, ask your career advisor to help you choose which ones will best suit your needs. Decide on a priority list of the companies you wish to speak to. If you have extra time, make sure you stop at all stands; you may discover careers you had never even thought of.
2. Research, Research and Research
Visit companies’ websites to find out what they do. You will have limited time to chat with employers so make the most of it by focusing on their experience, their duties and the kind of work graduates can expect in their company. Prepare questions beforehand on the recruitment process or on the skills needed to be successful in their organisation.
3. Smile and stand out
A careers fair is a professional networking opportunity. Like all professional relationships you need to be polite and respectful. There will be a lot of walking around so wear comfortable shoes but make sure you are still smart. When approaching a recruiter or employer be purposeful and enthusiastic; show that you did your research and ask questions while selling yourself: “I am in my final year of X and during my project I did Y. I would like to use these skills in a Z environment. From your website, I feel like I could fit well with your company. Can you tell me more about the kind of jobs you have for graduates and what technical skills I should focus on this year?”
4. Take notes and ask for the employer’s/recruiter’s card
Bring a notepad with your prepared questions and take notes on specific hiring dates and the next steps to take if you wish to apply. Take as many contact details as possible and as soon as you are home, connect with everyone on LinkedIn and follow the company pages. You will then be alerted when they are new vacancies.
5. Keep in touch after the fair
If you built a rapport with a recruiter, follow up with an email with your updated CV attached. It will show your motivation, your interest in the company and that you are a proactive person. Start by saying which part of the conversation you enjoyed. It will give them a reference point to remember you.
Reed Scientific attend many university career fairs during the year so keep an eye out for us and come and introduce yourself. If you have any questions on this article, do not hesitate to get in touch with me on firstname.lastname@example.org