Career Events, Waste of Time or Waste of an Opportunity?
As all new or old students may know career events are a great opportunity to show potential employers your spark and gather information about companies, and let’s not forget the freebies. However the biggest mistake you can do, is go to a career event, without doing your homework. Career events are a great opportunity to meet employers and hand in CV’s. This does not mean you go up to a stall and just hand in your CV. So let’s go through the steps you need to go through to leave a lasting impression.
First and foremost you need to research the career event you are going to. For example if you are studying the Legal Practice Course, it will be pretty pointless for you to go to the Pupillage Fair. Make sure you have researched the fair and there are stalls you are genuinely interested in. That said your next step would be to research the companies. Look at what they are looking for and the background of the company. Write a list of questions you will ask to get a better understanding of the company and also to show that you have done your research. After you have spoken to the representative at the stall make sure you have taken down their name and write notes. You can then use this ‘contact’ when contacting the company. Don’t forget to leave your CV with them and do not take offence if they do not read it there and then because they need to meet other interested applicants as well. Make sure you are at the fair early to meet the representatives. The early bird gets the worm. The representatives will get tired as the day ‘drags on’. If you are there early chances are you will be remembered and meet a representative who is still awake and on their morning coffee buzz.
When going to such events, remember to look professional. Wear a suit or smart casual clothing. This is not an opportunity to show off your fashion sense, even though your friends may think you’re a fashion icon. Women should wear flats or heels that aren’t six inches high. You will be walking around and also standing a lot.
Finally when it comes to freebies. Some companies really go out and hand out bags, pens, notebooks, USB Memory sticks and highlighters. Did I forget to mention these are free? But don’t go around stalls grabbing these items like a starving caveman grabbing food. Be courteous and take freebies after speaking to a representative or when they are distracted speaking to other students. Students can actually get all the essential stationery from such events so don’t be shy, they are there for your taking. Take these tips and hopefully they will help you secure a job or useful contacts for the future.