Careers Fairs – what can they do for me?
Careers fairs happen across the world however the purpose of a careers fair can be different from country to country. In some countries, careers fairs are where you go with your CV in the hope that you will get an immediate interview or job offer, however careers fairs at universities in the UK are different. There are rarely any immediate job offers and you won’t get an on-the-spot interview. However, attending a careers fair can still be advantageous in the application process and also for your employer and sector awareness.
Attend our big careers fair on 20 & 21 October, find out more information on MyFuture. Also see tomorrow's blog on Networking and the Careers Fair.
So tell me, what can a careers fair do for me?
Get to know different employers
This is your chance to get to know different employers and ask great questions that will clarify for you whether you want to work for them and for the employers to get to know you. It may widen your horizons on what companies exist in your chosen sector and clarification of responsibilities in different job roles.
Get interview and application tips
From talking to employers you will gain great awareness that will support you in a future application and interview. You may even get some top application and interview tips right there and then. The “why the company” section of a cover letter or as an interview question might be completed with one inspiring conversation with an employer you’d like to work for. The employer may also take your name down, meaning your application will be noticed in amongst the hundreds of applications they receive.
Keep in touch with the employer
In the age of social media, you can also follow-up with the employer on LinkedIn, if they agree to this, or the employer may even ask you to keep in touch with them! There you may get further support and updates. A future applicant that impresses at a careers fair is exactly the kind of person they would like to have in their company.
Lead to an informal interview?
And yes, in some rare cases, it can lead to a future informal interview/chat. There have been stories of some companies inviting students to meet them at a future event to discuss opportunities with the company or perhaps a virtual follow-up.
What not to do
You never know what a conversation with an employer at a careers fair can lead to….. so coming completely unprepared, asking questions like “so what sector are you in” or “do you do marketing?” will most likely not go down well for you nor the employer. Not researching beforehand which employers are attending and not have a short-list of employers beforehand to concentrate on may result in that you miss some great companies and job roles.
So how can I prepare then?
Luckily for you we have some great resources on just that! Have a look here for our great Get started guide on how to prepare for a careers fair or come and speak to a careers adviser in a careers appointment.
See you at the next Careers Fair!