Careers fairs are a great way to meet employers up close and explore a huge array of industries.However, as they can be a bit overwhelming, here are our tips for coming away with useful information and advice – not simply a bag of pens and stickers!
You’ll probably only have a few hours to explore before you’re due to get on the bus and head back to school.
- Think about the businesses and sectors you want to find out about, or the information you want to pick up. Do you want to research an industry sector, for example? Look at the floor plan for the event and find out the stand numbers for these employers. Plot a route around the fair so you can get the most from your time.
- There will often be careers talks and presentations linked to the event, so find out about these in advance and make sure you jot down the times and locations.
- There may be a stand offering general careers advice and guidance. The team from CSW are often at events, so find out where they are and write down the questions you would like to ask them.
- Think about what you already know and what you need to ask to plug the gaps in your knowledge. Exhibitors will be busy and your time with them might be short, so make sure you have written down what you want to ask. There’s no need to feel shy, because no question is too big or too small.
- If you want to talk to someone and they’re busy talking to other students, listen in, but let them finish their conversation before your start speaking.
- Don’t ‘hunt as a pack’. We know you’ll be there with your friends, but make sure you balance having fun with getting the information you need. Remember, you can’t have a one-to-one chat in a group, so you might miss the opportunity to have your questions properly answered. Be polite and if you want that free pen or chocolate – chat to the exhibiter rather than just grab it and run. Who knows? You may meet the again, so make a good impression.
- If you’re undecided about your career route after school, for example Apprenticeships versus going to University, it’s totally fine to chat about this. Employers are happy to help you consider which route would suit you best and how this will effect progression in their company or your chosen career.
- Take a notepad and pen and write down names and contract details of people who might be useful contacts in the future. Remembering a name is a great way to impress people.