As The Big Careers Fair is fast approaching we’ve put together some tips to help you prepare and make the most of the fair (and any other careers fair you may attend this year).
- Do your research
As much as we would all love the ability to be able to ‘wing it’ last minute this doesn’t always pan out. In order to make the most of your visit to a Careers Fair and for it to be a productive use of your time, doing a bit of research beforehand will make a difference. Take some time to look which exhibitors are attending the fair, what vacancies they have on offer and make a short list of employers to speak to. And don’t just look at the names you recognise – there are lots of interesting jobs and companies out there.
Exhibitors list for The Big Careers Fair are now online.
- Plan some questions
Think about what you want to know about the company or employer in advance. You can ask about the culture of the organisation, what skills are required for a specific job role, ask about the application process, and what they look for in graduates.
For more examples of questions to ask have a look at our ‘what to do at the fair’ guide.
- Get there early
Don’t worry we’re not talking about 8am! Most of our Careers Fairs don’t open until after 10am, but they do get busy. In order to make sure you get to speak to all the employers you want to (because you’ve done your research and made your list) you need to give yourself enough time to ask the question you’ve planned.
- Plan your outfit & check the weather
It may seem old fashioned but first impressions count. But more than that you want to make sure you’re confident while you’re effectively mass speed networking, so plan to wear something you’ll be comfortable in. Also check the weather, you don’t want to be hot and flustered, or too cold.
- Take something to write note
You’ll be speaking to quite a few different people so it’s a good idea to take a pen/pencil and something to write notes on, or make sure you have a fully charged phone to take notes. Following the fair when you’ve got more time to think you’ll be able to refer back to your notes.
- Take a bottle of water
An unfortunate consequence of speaking to multiple people for longer periods of time is dry mouth. So remember to take something to drink to stay hydrated.
Finally it’s always a good idea to pre-register to attend the fair. This will save you time on the day when you arrive. If you haven’t already you can register now for the Big Careers Fair online.
At the fair if you have any questions The Careers Service staff will be on hand throughout the day.
Student Engagement Consultant at The University of Manchester. Manage marketing and communications for The Careers Service.