It's that time of year again: Careers Fair city, population you (possibly). You'll probably soon be pulled in all different directions and asked to go alone. But most of the time, these Careers Fairs help you do nothing and give you nothing more than just a handful of pens and a shitload of paper. So how can you actually do what you came there for and get a career? We got you.
Here are 9 tips to actually get a job and/or career path!
1. Prepare in advance
Before you get to the careers fair, make sure you do a bit of homework to avoid being completely unprepared on the day.
Make sure you:
- Check the location of the fair, its opening times and which employers will be there
- Decide which employers you definitely want to talk to and where their stall is
- Find out if there is a program of talks and presentations and plan your day around which ones you want to go to
- Bring along a current CV and for the love of God, don't use Times New Roman and have no personality in your resume. Make it short and sweet, but descriptive enough to show who you are. Don't be afraid of colour!
2. Research the companies that will be there
Once you have an idea of who you want to talk to, Google the companies. It sounds really simple but people mess this up all the time, then rock up to a careers fair and ask very simple questions. The more you know about an organisation and the types of positions they hire, the better you will look to the employer.
3. Dress to impress
It's easy to think that a careers fair is just another expo or college event but they're actually full of employers who are judging you - hard. Just kidding... but seriously, suit up. And don't wear any crazy jewellery or pants. Or even too much makeup.
4. Ask the right questions
Ask recruiters to explain more about something you've researched and not silly questions like "what does your company DO?!". Be smart and ask something like, "How can I succeed in this position?" "What skills are you looking for?"
5. Get business cards
You should take as many business cards as possible and make a good first impression so when you do contact that person, they'll actually remember you. Finding something in common like a similar-coloured tie or where you live is an easy way to do this.
6. Be prepared to answer questions about yourself
Many employers will ask you: “Tell me about yourself". Don't um and ah and say you're a student and you've been looking at X companies and you don't know what you want to do. Be confident, know what you want and don't be afraid to get it! Slay.
7. Follow up
Not many people who go to careers fairs actually follow up with the recruiters after they meet them, so sending a thank you email could be a good way of ensuring you are fresh in their mind.
8. Make notes
Take a notebook and pen to write down the names and contact details of people you meet and important information.
9. Practice interview techniques
If nothing else, take it as a good opportunity to practice your interview technique, especially if you've only had a few interviews!