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Job fairs: making the most of your time
Find out who’s going to be there
Most job fairs will publish their exhibitors list in advance of the event. By knowing which businesses and organisations are going to be there, you can identify who you’d like to speak to and formulate a plan of action. This is particularly important if it’s a large event, as you’re unlikely to have time to speak to everyone. Ranking the attendees could be a good way of separating them into those you definitely want to meet and those you’ll meet if there’s time.
Dress to impress
What you wear might not seem that important, but it forms an essential part of how you present yourself and first impressions matter. After all, recruiters are probably going to meet hundreds of young people just like you throughout the day – you don’t want to be remembered for the wrong reasons! Think about what you’d wear to a job interview and you can’t go wrong.
Make copies of your CV
You’re probably only going to get 10 minutes or so with a potential employer, so you’ll want to have something you can leave them with. Business cards are great, but a CV contains so much more information about your skills and experience, and what you could bring to a company. Make sure you have enough copies to go around and that your CV is a sensible length – no potential employer wants to have to search through 10 pages to find out who you are and what you can do!
Think about what businesses or organisations want
They’re looking for talented new employees who will bring some kind of added value to their company. While the skill and experience on your CV are important, how you come across in person will also have an impact. Smiling, making eye contact, showing a clear interest in (and knowledge of) the company and presenting yourself confidently will help to maximise your appeal as a potential employee.
Think about what you want
Why are you actually attending the job fair? Is there a specific job you have your eye on or a company you long to work for? Are you interested in seeing what unexpected opportunities might be out there? Or do you just feel that visiting a job fair is something you should be doing? Being honest about your motivation will help to direct your time while you’re there and perhaps also – in the case of the last reason – inspire you to take a more effective approach.
Where can you find out more?
The European Job Days are a great place to start. These online and onsite recruitment fairs bring together jobseekers and businesses in different European locations, a couple of times a month (on average). Registering for an event is easy and can be done through the European Job Days website.
Looking beyond Europe, the Global Careers Fair runs a number of International Career Fairs each year. These events are held online, making them accessible to young people anywhere in the world.
Job fairs go hand-in-hand with networking, so make sure you check out our ultimate guide to networking for top tips on how to network like a pro!
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"Focus on…" articles are intended to provide users of the EURES portal with information on current topics and trends and to stimulate discussion and debate. They do not necessarily reflect the view of the European Commission.