Careers fairs

Preparation is the key to success at careers fairs as many employers interview on the spot.
· Make sure your CV is ‘hard copy ready’. Many CVs are created for email use and don’t always transfer well to paper. Also, ensure your CV is appropriate for general distribution and not job specific.

· Ask a careers adviser to help prepare and check your CV for you. They will advise on content and presentation and should spot typos.

· The longest queue at any careers fair is for the photocopier. Arm yourself with plenty of copies of your CV before you go.

· The bigger fairs may have up to 150 companies, so plan which ones you want to see in advance. Get to your target stand before the busy midday period.

· Look smart. Employers need to be able to picture you in their companies rather than on campus.

· Treat fairs as seriously as you would an interview.

· If you strike a good rapport with a potential employer, follow up with a carefully crafted letter.

· Plan your strategy – having decided who you want to see, think about what the employer will want to see from you, such as a portfolio, examples of work etc. Make sure you have enough background detail about the company and its market.

· Practice makes perfect. Don’t head for your top choice company straight away. Present yourself to a few others first as a warm-up.

· Don’t overlook the smaller fairs – some of the big employers do venture outside the major cities. At smaller events they will often be less inundated and may be able to give you more time.

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