With the University of Kent Employability Festival Careers Fair fast approaching (Tuesday 16th October 10am-4pm), I have compiled a list of top tips just for students. As a student myself I have attended the Careers Fair, and can therefore honestly recommend taking a couple of minutes to do some preparation, as it will really help to get the most out of what can seem like a very daunting experience.
1.Do you find the prospect of a busy, noisy room full of people daunting? Please consider our Access Hour (10-11am). No booking or prior disclosure is required. Click here for more information on the access hour.
2. The careers fair is not just for 3rd years looking for graduate jobs. Any student has got to start somewhere, and there are also many employers offering undergraduate opportunities.
3. What do you want from the careers fair?
a. If you haven’t got a clue when someone asks ‘what do you want to do when you leave uni?’, the careers fair is the perfect place to start to figure out this out. This link shows the companies that will employ students from any subject. You should also have received an email from the Careers and Employability Service with the list of employers related to your subject.
b. If you know what career you would like to pursue and the relevant companies, you can look up the employers that will be at the careers fair using this link to make sure you don’t miss anyone on the day and can use your time more wisely.
4. Research some of these employers beforehand if you really want to impress them on the day. It is also extremely useful as you can approach employers with specific questions that you need answering – they will probably be very busy!
5. Prepare a brief introduction about yourself to start a conversation with an employer. This will help them know what information is relevant to you, and how they can help. e.g. “Hi I’m Grace, and I’ve just started my second year in Politics and International Relations here at the university. I have enjoyed my work experience in the charity sector and I am looking to develop my skills further in the field of politics. I noticed from your
website that you take on students within your company. Can you tell me more about your scheme and what it involves?”
6. Take a few printed copies of your updated CV or business cards, but remember that not all employers will be willing to take them – why not get your CV checked at the CES beforehand? Book an appointment here.
7. Bring a pen and notebook to take notes when talking to employers – not only does this help you when you get home from a long day, but shows employers that you are organised and care.
8. Bring something to put all your leaflets and business cards in so you don’t drop them everywhere! (definitely not talking from experience…)
9. Smart casual is the safest bet dress wise – clean and tidy is essential
10. Start the application of any companies you would look to apply for so that you can
get any questions you have about the process answered in person
11. Smile! Employers at the festival won’t bite, they are there to help you
12. Visit your top priority employer once you’ve talked to a couple of others, this gives you a chance to warm up and build your confidence
13. If you can handle it without a friend, visit employer stands on your own. It is unlikely you will both be looking at the same companies so you can use your time better, and it shows that you are an independent and capable individual.