How to speak to employers at careers fairs

Guest BloggerAdvice, Final Year, First Year, Graduates, Postgraduate, Second Year

You’ll hopefully have seen that we’re having two careers fairs this term, both of which will be digital! These are the dates, in case you’ve not seen them yet and fancy popping them in your calendar:

The STEM Fair: Thursday 22nd October, 10am-4pm
The Business Fair: Tuesday 27th October, 10am-4pm

To attend them, you’ll need to download the Careers Fair Plus app, where you’ll be able to find out who’s recruiting for placements and graduate roles, and upload your CV to book 1-to-1 appointments with the organisations who are attending.

Speaking to employers at careers fairs can be a pretty scary experience. But, you don’t need to worry! We’ll be taking you through what you can to beforehand to prepare, and how to handle it on the day.

Preparation

There are a few things you can do to prepare for your 1-to-1 appointments with employers.

  • Firstly, do your research. Do you know what doesn’t impress an employer? When someone asks them “What does your company do?” Read everything you can about the organisation. Their website, blog and social media channels are a great place to start!
  • Prepare your elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is short introduction to who you are. It should be approximately 30 seconds – the time it would take to present during a short elevator ride! You’ll be expected to talk about yourself, so practise this before the day. Include your name, what you’re studying and what year you’re in, and what opportunities you’re looking for.
  • Think of some questions you can ask. Asking questions shows that you’re interested and engaged. It can be tricky to think of some on the spot, so have a think about this in advance, once you’ve done your research.

On the day

The day has arrived, and you’ve done your preparation. Take some deep breaths to steady your nerves – remember, they’re people too!

  • Normally, you’d shake hands, say hello, and introduce yourself. With these fairs being virtual, you’ll obviously be skipping the hand shake. Smile, be confident, and introduce yourself.
  • Next comes the elevator pitch. They might ask you to tell you a bit about yourself – if they don’t, ask “Would you be happy for me to briefly tell you about myself?”
  • Show that you’ve done your homework. You’ll stand out if you can refer to something you’ve read about the company.
  • Ask any questions that you have, including what the follow-up process is.
  • Thank them for their time.

Good luck!

Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels