It’s the summer fair season again (although I use the word ‘summer’ advisedly!) and plenty of opportunity for you to scan the job horizon and see what’s out there. Careers fairs can be quite daunting – particularly for the uninitiated – it seems everyone else is smoothly working the room, chatting to employers, picking up brochures and placing one foot firmly on the career ladder. In reality, many students fail to play the ‘fair game’ and miss the chance to make a really strong impression on a potential recruiters. With some basic preparation and an open mind you can turn this around. Just make sure you know ‘how get the most out of careers fairs’.
We’ve got some great feedback from employers who came to our autumn term fairs and have a pretty clear idea about what they want to hear. Make yourself memorable for the right reasons. Here’s what they had to say:
Some of the best questions…
- What is the company’s direction in the short and long term?
- What is the best way to make my application successful?
- What motivates you to go into work every day?
- How has the economy affected your business?
And the worst…
- What do you do? Who are you? What are you about? Not a good opening line
- What freebies have you got? And yes, students do still ask this
- Can I have your number? It’s not an opportunity to pick up a date (the recruiter’s words, not mine!)
In terms of general tips, the recruiters pretty much covered what was in the Guardian article, with much of the emphasis directed towards good research, commerical awareness and the right attitude: be confident, enthusiastic but also respectful. A careers fair isn’t a social occasion – don’t treat it like one.
I’m going to have the final word (it’s a habit I’m trying to break…) and remind you that many graduate and internship opportunities are open to students from any degree background. Don’t count yourself out before you even started, keep an open mind and entertain new possibilities.
Ok, that wasn’t quite the final word, but this is: remember it’s our Summer Careers Fair on Tuesday, 12-4pm in Rootes. See you there, just don’t forget to read the fair guide first….