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How to Get the Most out of a Careers Fair

How to Get the Most out of a Career Fair

You can't win a cuddly toy but you could get yourself hired

These fairs don't have candy floss or carousel rides but a few hours at a careers fair can lead to you meeting the people who can get you hired. Completing your job search online does seem more effortless especially if you're still currently in full time employment; (who else would prefer to spend their evenings in your pj's in front of the telly) but you do need to be switching off your computer once in a while and meeting employers face to face.

Make a Connection

Making a Connection

The personal touch is so important in the recruitment process but there are limited ways to get real face time before you get an interview. How do you get in front of the decision makers so you can wow them with your talents and amazing personality without stalking them or running past reception to track down their office?

The answer is hidden within a career fair! Where else can you meet not just one decision maker but hundreds all in one place, ready and waiting to meet you. 

What do you need to be doing to make yourself stand out?

Careers Fairs aren't one to one events so be ready for plenty of competition around you. It's essential to be memorable and make sure the recruiter is thinking about you after the event has finished. Like after a first date, you want your date to leave being excited to ring you for the second date, not praying they never have to see you again!

Be Ready and Prepared

Be Ready and Prepared

First step, you need to get the list of who will be in attendance, and then be homing in on who you want to meet.

Most events will have an attendance list readily available on their site so before you go, write down the top 5 companies that you want to get your CV in front of.

Have a checklist and make sure like your first day of school your bag is packed (you can download my handy checklist here.) Okay so maybe you don't need a packed lunch and a juice box but you do need to have a handful of CVs, potentially your portfolio and a notebook and pen for writing down any contact names or job information you pick up. 

Research as if it was an Interview

Research as if it was an Interview

Prior to an interview hopefully you'd sit down and research the company, ready to answer any of their questions (if you don't why not!) But you shouldn't hold off on the research until an interview, learning about a company before you even attend a careers fair can make your conversation flow more naturally and it will definitely make you stand out as a perfect fit to the recruiter. 

A careers fair should be an opportunity to connect with companies and having knowledge about their organisation will showcase that you're passionate about working for them.

Where to Find Career Fairs

Where to Find Career Fairs

Simply google careers fairs in your area and a whole list of events will appear before your eyes. Social media is also a great way of seeing what is available so start searching #careerfairs. 

Prospects hold several events throughout the year and they do list of other organisation's events on their site so it can act as a one stop shop. 

Also, The Job Fair hold countless events up and down the country meaning in any given week they will most likely have an event you can attend. These career events are usually much larger, held at city centre arenas.

Remember to check out your local council website as well, as they will also hold events usually once a year to promote employment opportunities. 

Make the Most of It

Make the Most of It

A careers fair is all about build new relationships and widening your network which will in turn help you get hired. Make sure to meet as many companies as possible as even if the jobs available aren't quite right for you, you never know who you could connect with that will be useful in the future.

Careers Fair are also a great place to meet career advisers, employment support agency and recruitment agencies so be sure to sign up to their opportunities and get some much needed extra help in the job search.

Finally, Fill up on Freebies

Finally, Fill up on Freebies

Okay so having a thousand rubbers isn't really that useful and it won't get you hired but everyone love a freebie or two. So why not compensate yourself for your time and get yourself another notepad, a couple of pens and occasionally a sweet treat.

Now don't get me wrong these aren't Oscar worth gift bags but every time I have been to a career fair I've left with a bag full of stationary. 

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