Preparing For The Exhibition
Visiting careers fairs is a proactive step towards finding a job, but they can be overwhelming if you aren’t clear about what to do on the day or what you wish to achieve from the event.
The GradJobs team have been organising the National Graduate Recruitment Exhibitions for nearly 30 years so know a thing or two about the dos and don’ts of recruitment fairs. First impressions are lasting, so we have compiled a list of top tips to ensure you make the most of your day!
1.Take a flexible approach to the exhibition.
Don’t set your heart on just one company or sector; consider what skills you have to offer and what sectors you could apply them in. You will probably be pleasantly surprised with the range of options open to you!
2. See who will be recruiting at the event.
Make sure you are prepared by looking at the careers fair website and create a list of the companies you definitely want to speak to and another list of the ones you’d like to if you have time.
3. Research. Research. Research.
Knowledge is key. Impress companies with how much you know. Take a look at their website and social media feeds to find out what graduate opportunities they have and what projects they have been working on. You will then be able to drop your knowledge into conversation and stick in recruiters’ minds as a serious candidate.
4. Make a list of the questions you want to ask
This is your chance to ask questions about graduate opportunities, the recruitment process and the workplace culture. However, if you really want to make an impact you are going to need to engage recruiters by asking something a bit different. Talk to them about the company’s expansion plans, ask them how their company values are demonstrated on a day-to-day basis or discuss career plans - anything that will show you have a real interest in their organisation.
5. Prepare your elevator pitch
Recruiters can get very busy at certain times of the day so you may not have a great deal of time to impress them. Be prepared to summarise what you’re looking for and what you have to offer them in a couple of minutes so they can help you as quickly as possible.
6. Update your CV
Sounds obvious, but having an up-to-date CV is essential when you are applying for graduate jobs. Taking a look at your CV before the exhibition will help you recall your key skills and experience and focus your mind on examples you can use to demonstrate them.
7. Take a look at what else is going on at the event
The National Graduate Recruitment Exhibitions have an extensive range of seminars, workshops and extra features such as a Mock Assessment Centre, CV Clinic and Advice Clinic to help you achieve your career goals. Take a look at the programme and highlight the sessions you think will be most useful to you. You should plan your day around these, as recruiters will be available all day.
8. Dress to impress
Treat the exhibition like a job interview. Nothing says professional like formal work attire!
9. Write it down!
Unless you have an amazing memory, chances are you won’t remember every conversation you have. Be prepared to take notes of key facts like application deadlines and useful tips.
10. Request recruiters’ business cards
This will show your interest. They won’t necessarily give them to you, but if you do get a personal contact for a HR manager, this could be a great lead to get in touch with.
11. Revisit recruiters you are interested in
If possible, speak to a couple of representatives from companies you are particularly interested in to get a rounded view of the company and to make sure you stick in their minds.
12. What now?
The truth is the exhibition alone isn’t going to get you your dream job – but it is a great step toward reaching your goals. Don’t lose momentum! Take a look at any info you picked up on the day and start making those applications while your conversations with recruiters are still fresh in your mind.
Good luck and happy job hunting!
Are You a High Flyer?
GradJobs offers an exclusive forum for the best and brightest graduates who have exceeded academic expectations. High Flyers' gain access to the private members area at The National Recruitment Exhibition, free refreshments, fast track entry and opportunities to network with recruiters away from the crowds. Not forgetting the on-going perks throughout the year.
CV Do's and Don't's
There is always a way to improve your CV. Read The Write Stuff's top do's and don't's of CV writing, and expert advice on how to form your CV to reflect your true abilities and get you that all important interview! Don't miss the opportunity for their one-to-one advice at the National Graduate Recruitment Exhibitions.
Pick up a copy of GradJobs.co.uk and GradJobs directory from your careers service today. Tackling graduate issues head on, along with essential advice and guidance, it's not to be missed. Our directory is a comprehensive guide to the best graduate jobs on the market. It also gives you an opportunity to research companies and arrive to the exhibitions fully prepared.