Why you should attend jobs fairs.
Graduate Job fairs are one of the most miss understood job seeking tools out there, almost all universities across the country will hold several of these fairs every year, and yet too many students just don’t seem to understand why they should attend, or if they do attend they all too often go about it the wrong way. If there is a job fair coming up at your university or nearby you should be there and this is why:
You can learn about the job market, even if you’re not actively job seeking right now job fairs are a great chance to see what industries are employing right now and what different jobs are actually about. The job market is filled with all kinds of jobs, some of which you may not have previously heard of but yet could be great for you. If you already have work, jobs fairs are an easy way to keep your eye on the job market, see what opportunities are out there and work out where you fit in. Could you be doing better in a different job?
It’s also never too early to start learning about the application process needed for bagging that perfect job. Many graduate schemes have a really long recruitment process and if you leave your research too late you may find you’ve missed your chance for a lot of the best jobs.
What many students don’t realise is some big employers treat careers fairs as preliminary interviews, if you impress an employer at this early stage it can really help you chances of your application being accepted. Remember if employers are treating the fair as an interview you need to do so too, dress smart and come well prepared with lots of research on the companies you’re interested in. Preparing a concise pitch that will make you stand out above the other candidates and take lots of notes so you can follow up any leads.
So many students these days think they can learn everything they need to from the internet, but the internet isn’t that useful for learning what it’s actually like to work at a company, the best way to discover this is by actually talking to employers at fairs. You will want to make sure that any industry you take a job in is one that you will mesh with. After all your career will be a big part of your life, you need to make sure you end up doing something that will fit with you.
A lot of employers will also take résumés at a fair giving you a chance to get ahead of any competition when applying for jobs. Having your résumé with you is also handy as a lot of fair organisers will set up booths to help you out by critiquing your C.V. for you, it certainly can’t hurt to know how employers see your résumé so that you can make improvements.
This article was contributed by Ewan Cambell MacDougall not only did he used to work as an assistant at his local university careers fairs, he is now working with Nimlok banner stands who create the displays used by many of the employers at these fairs. As a result he’s seen a lot of job fairs and knows how useful they can be for job seekers.