Employers at this year’s Graduate and Employment Fair (Wednesday 3 April) will be looking for students who stand out from the crowd and go the extra mile to impress them. First impressions count so it’s essential to be prepared. Follow our top tips and be prepared for the fair;
1. Know who is going to be there: do basic research into the employers before attending the fair; think about the questions you would like to ask. Keep an eye out on the Careers and Employment social media channels (@UniofHertsCE ) for announcements of all the employers attending the fair.
2. Effective introductions: think in advance about how to briefly introduce yourself if you get a chance to speak to an employer on a one to one: name, course, career interest.
3. Check out deadlines – there are a lot of deadlines approaching for graduate and placement schemes. Make sure you are aware of the dates and don’t miss them. Use this opportunity to ask questions about relevant schemes.
4. Prepare your questions – avoid asking the obvious like ‘what do you offer graduates’? Questions should give you information not already available and show you have done your research ie ‘what type of projects would a first-year engineering trainee undertake?’
5. Make an impact – employers do not expect students to be in suits, they do however expect you to be presentable and smart. Consider the impression you will give – how are those shoes looking?!
6. Tell me a bit about yourself? – know how you will respond to questions from the employers – plan something short, focused and factual that shows them you are motivated.
7. Share the employer’s time: don’t monopolise them; remember they are there to meet all students.
8. Be business-like: friendly but polite: smile, introduce yourself and shake their hand; keep a reasonable distance and respect personal space.
9. Keep notes – of what you have found out. Pick up business cards and contact details so...
10. Thank them for their time: whether this be on a one to one, a round of applause at the end of a talk or a quick email later if they spent considerable time talking to you.
Michael Chapman is a Careers and Employment Officer at the University of Hertfordshire.