More than just the freebies, careers fairs offer a great opportunity for you to meet with employers and find out more about potential roles. With today’s competitive job market, this initial interaction could be what it takes to make you stand out from the crowd and secure your perfect job.
Here we share our top tips on how to make the most out of attending a careers fair.
1. Do your research
With so many employers trying to get your attention, it can be easy to get caught up in conversations about opportunities that don’t necessarily apply to you.
Do your research before the event; take a look at which companies are attending and decide on the main ones you want to speak to. Visit these stands first to make the most of your time there and ensure that you get enough time to speak to all the employers you are interested in.
2. Don’t be shy
Careers fairs provide a unique opportunity to get to know more about a company outside of the formal interview setting.
If you’d like to know more about a company or opportunity don’t be shy. Approach employers in a friendly and confident manner and ask insightful questions. Employers are at the fair to meet potential candidates and so will be more than happy to chat with you.
Not only will this help you to understand more about the employer, but it will also help them to get to know and remember you, which can be what it takes to make you stand out against other candidates.
Careers fairs are the perfect place to meet people working in your field of interest and network for the future.
Even if the exhibitors you’re interested in don’t currently have any vacancies suited to you, ask them for advice for future applications or see if they know of any similar or alternative routes you could take.
Always take the name of the person you speak to along with a business card or leaflet. You never know if you may need to contact them again.
4. Don’t forget recruitment agencies
Many visitors at careers fairs tend to go straight to the big companies. However, by avoiding speaking to a recruitment agency, you could potentially be missing on a number of great opportunities.
Lots of companies use recruitment agencies to exclusively recruit candidates on their behalf. Therefore, by speaking to a recruiter you can find out about a number of opportunities that aren’t advertised anywhere else.
For example, at Opus, we recruit to all temporary jobs within Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire County Councils and Milton Keynes Council, so registering with us is the only way to find out about available temp vacancies in these councils.
4. Follow up
If you’ve spoken to a number of employers at the event and found some opportunities you’re interested in, don’t wait around too long before starting your application or following up. There will be many others having similar conversations and competing for the same positions as you, so you don’t want to miss out on your chance by applying too late.