Career fairs give you the opportunity to meet the faces behind large companies and organisations and to find out more about what they do. It is crucial to attend them as a student, as it gives you the opportunity to meet important people in the industry and make vital contacts.
So how should you conduct yourself at a career fair? It might seem like common sense but time after time employers say they witness students acting very immaturely at these fairs, not at all mindful of the fact that they could be standing in front of their future employer! Remember, it’s a career fair, not a social event.
Here are 8 key points to keep in mind when you attend your next career fair.
- Prepare in advance. Plan you time, arrive early and visit as many stands as possible.
- Pre-register if you can and get a list of the companies that will be attending. You can map out your day and prioritise what companies you visit.
- Be warm, friendly and polite. Remember to always conduct yourself professionally.
- Sometimes we think we know it all already. Don’t leave out a company or stand because you think you know all about them. Drop by and say hi. You never know what you might learn or who you might meet.
- Shake hands, introduce yourself and make eye contact.
- If you plan on handing out CVs on the day carry them in a file. Don’t hand over a crumpled document that has been pulled from the bottom of your handbag or from your pocket.
- Be polite and never interrupt conversations, it doesn’t matter how great your point is wait for the person to end before you jump in.
- It’s all about networking. It is an integral part to building a successful career so get talking to lots of people.
- Follow up with each company you gave your CV to.