Attending a careers event for the first time can sometimes be a bit daunting, but this needn’t be the case. Follow these simple steps to ensure you are fully prepared for the day.
It’s a good idea to have a bit of background information about the each employers attending the event, especially if you're looking to apply them. The more research you are able to do the better – take a look at what they do, what opportunities they offer and applicable deadlines.
Commercial awareness is a sought skill in the graduate recruitment world – so spend some time reading the news and familiarising yourself with current affairs and trends on the industry in question.
Come with questions
Intelligent questions can go a long way at careers events and it’s great to come armed with one’s you have prepared in advance. Ideally you shouldn't be asking any questions you can find the answers to on their careers website. Identify what’s important to you and have confidence when ask your question.
Make sure you’ve identified which questions to ask each individuals Generally speaking, you would ask graduate employers questions about the application process and programme in question, ask recent graduates about their experiences and ask panellists and speakers high level questions about the business and industry.
Look the part
The general rule at careers events is that you should wear what you’d wear to an interview. You want to appear professional, presentable and employable. So for business events that’s suits for the boys and smart dresses or shirts and skirts for the girls. There’s nothing worse than feeling underdressed – so if you’re unsure it’s always better to step it up a notch.
Neat and tidy outfits will make a big difference – so make sure you’ve thought about your outfit in advance, ironed it, ensured everything matches and you’ve paid close attention to the details (i.e. socks are matching, no ladders in your tights, inappropriate piercings removed).
What to bring
The event organisers will inform you in advance of anything you may be required to bring but here are some suggestions.
- Bring a pen and pad – it looks more professional than writing on your phone/tablet
- Account for the weather by bringing what’s necessary. This could be spare shoes, an umbrella, perhaps a coat as well as a jacket
- Bring a map and make sure you know where you’re going
- Have a phone number saved to call should you be running late or you can’t find the entrance
- If a barcode ticket has been sent to you ahead of the day, ensure you’ve printed it out or you have it downloaded on your phone ahead of time
Check the agenda
Take a look at the agenda and programme in advance and get a feel for the day.
One thing to note is to look at timings and see what catering is provided. If it’s an afternoon event and lunch is not provided – make sure you eat something in advance.
If there is anything you think the event organisers should know such as information on an allergy, disability, medication or impairment – please ensure you reach out in advance to tell them.
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