This term we’ve got a number of fairs and if you’re interested in the sectors covered, come along and meet employers to find out about the different organisations that can help get your career plans going.
1. Dress to impress
One of the most important things to consider before meeting employers is what to wear. Your outfit and personal presentation will be the first thing they see, and make a lasting first impression.
Unless otherwise stated in the event description, we recommend smart casual for all of our events. This means that you should look smart, but you don’t need to wear a suit. Linen trousers or chinos with a shirt or a smart dress should be fine. The main rule is that you shouldn’t be wearing jeans or trainers, and the most important thing is that you look neat and well-presented.
However, it is worth knowing that many students will wear business attire for these events, so if you do have a suit then it’s worth wearing.
2. Be selective of who you talk to
You’re not going to have time to talk to everyone. Our fairs are big, and there will be a huge number of both employers and students trying to talk to the employers, so make sure that you organise your priorities beforehand.
You can see what employers are going to be in attendance from the event page on CareerHub. Click on ‘view all employers’ at the bottom of the box on the right-hand side of the page to see a full list. This page is updated regularly too, so make sure you check back so that you don’t miss out.
3. Research the companies thoroughly
Once you know who you want to talk to, start learning about them so that you can have an informed conversation with the representative on the day.
Researching the company shows them that you’re actually interested, rather than turning up to the fair and testing the waters. This makes it more likely for the representatives to take an interest in you back, and could lead to more connections later down the line.
4. Prepare questions
Along with your research, you should also plan some questions that you can ask the company representative once you meet them. You don’t want to waste your time asking questions that are answered on their website, and you should try and stand out by asking things that are different from the same boring queries they always get.
Remember, though, that this fair is also about your own interests. If there is anything that you want to know about a company that isn’t immediately obvious then don’t hesitate to ask it, as this is your best opportunity to find out what a job in their company can do for you.
5. Take a couple of CVs
Don’t get overexcited: the fairs are not an opportunity to give everyone you see a speculative CV. In fact, some employers may find it rude if you immediately try to sell yourself to them.
That being said, you shouldn’t be unprepared. If you have a good conversation with a representative then they may ask you for your CV, or be receptive if you mention that you have one with you. This is no guarantee of employment, but it’s definitely a good first step in getting noticed by an organisation.
6. Introduce yourself
It may be tempting to hang back and listen to what the representatives are saying to other students, especially if they’re asking the same questions as you. Fairs can be awkward and there will be a lot of people vying for the same amount of attention, but don’t let that put you off making an impression.
Once you introduce yourself the hard bit is over. Use a couple of your prepared questions and then move on. Conversations should be brief but relevant, and make sure you thank them for their time at the end.
Networking may often seem like a buzzword that gets thrown around in the job world, but it’s pretty important. We have run a few blog posts on the importance of networking along with a how to network guide.
Careers regularly runs events that can help you develop your networking skills. Use these tools to get the most out of your meetings, and you should impress employers across the fair.
8. Respect others around you
Making an employer notice you does not mean elbowing everyone else out the way and monopolising their time for half an hour. When you approach the representative, go as an individual rather than being part of a group to avoid crowding others out.
Your conversation shouldn’t be too long, and make sure that you don’t talk about yourself too much: if they want to know more about you then they’ll take your contact details.
9. Collect business cards
If you’ve had a good conversation with a representative then always remember to take their business card. Due to data protection laws LSE Careers cannot give you the names or contact details of people who attended the fair, so it’s essential that you take their details then and there if you want to maintain a relationship with them.
10. Follow up
Following up is always worth the time and effort. Staying in contact with an employer is a great way to stay informed of opportunities within the company, and to get a possible advantage when applying.
So good luck and remember to enjoy the experience!