Recruitment exhibitions are essential careers events, and have been designed to provide graduates with everything they need to find a job – from choosing the right career all the way through to preparing them for the working world.
If you are unsure what to do next after university, undecided which career is right for you, or you would like help finding a job, then attending a recruitment fair is essential.
However, with fierce competition, it is important to know what steps to take before, during and after the exhibition to ensure that you get maximum benefit from attending and give your career search the kick start it needs. With that in mind, why not check out our top tips?
- Be clear about what you can offer. Think about your degree, your work experience and your skills. What are you good at? What could you bring to an organisation? Once you have this clearly in your mind you can then start to plan your visit and focus on the companies and features that will benefit you most.
- Look through the list of exhibitors. Visit the event website before attending and learn more about the companies that you will be meeting onsite. Make a list of the ones you definitely want to speak to and another list of the companies you’d like to speak to if you have time at the end of the day. Prioritise the list.
- Research! Once you have a list of the companies that you’re looking to impress, do your research. Visit their website to learn more about graduate opportunities, check out any recent press coverage and follow them on social media such as Twitter. You will then be able to impress recruiters with your knowledge and enthusiasm and stand out from the crowd.
- Make a list of questions you would like to ask. This is your chance to get your questions answered and find out about the recruitment process, the company culture and what someone in your position would need to do now to prepare for possible vacancies in the future.
- Look through the list of presentations and features. At many careers fairs, graduates can take advantage of a wide range of career advice features including CV clincs, free mock assessment centres, workshops and presentations. To avoid missing out, make sure you know what times they are on and which you need to reserve a place for.
- Update your CV. It will be useful to have a few copies of your CV handy at the exhibition, as you can use it as a prompt when speaking to exhibitors. You can also have your CV reviewed by experts at the exhibition.
- Plan your journey. It sounds obvious, but do familiarise yourself with your route to the exhibition and the journey time. You don’t want to miss any interesting seminars.
- Dress to impress. Treat the exhibition as a first stage interview – that means business dress, not jeans and trainers. With so many people to talk to during the day, recruiters will remember those who look like they’ve made a serious effort.
- Remember common courtesy. Eye contact, a firm handshake and good manners will get you noticed for all the right reasons. Turning up at the stand and saying ‘So what do you do then?’ will not.
- Plan your next steps. Don’t let all your new-found knowledge be forgotten. When you get home, go through all the literature and notes you collected as soon as possible. Make a list of the vacancies and schemes that you need to apply for first.
Above all, enjoy yourself! This is a fantastic opportunity to brush up on your employability, network with recruiters and take the steps to land your dream job.
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