How to deal with careers fairs

PUBLISHED: 11:28 17 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:40 06 May 2010

A careers fair

A careers fair

AS many employers often interview on the spot at careers fairs, preparation and planning is the key to your success at these events. Make certain that you have a hard copy of your CV to hand. A lot of CVs are created specifically for email use and so don

AS many employers often interview on the spot at careers fairs, preparation and planning is the key to your success at these events.

Make certain that you have a hard copy of your CV to hand. A lot of CVs are created specifically for email use and so don't always transfer well to paper. And ensure that your CV is appropriate for general distribution rather than being job specific.

Get a careers adviser to help you prepare your CV for you. They will be able to advise you on presentation and content, and will be able to check it for you and spot any typos.

To save time make sure you have plenty - and I mean plenty - of copies of your CV with you to hand out when you are there. Queuing at the photocopier while you are there could lose you valuable time and interviews.

Make sure you get to your target stand prior to the busy midday period, and as a lot of fairs often play host to in excess of 150 companies, make sure you carefully plan the ones you want to see well in advance.

Go along looking smart as employers need to be able to picture how you will look at their company rather than in the student union bar.

Treat all careers fairs as seriously as you would any interview.

Should you strike up a good rapport with any potential employer, make sure that you follow up your spadework with a very carefully crafted letter.

Having decided well in advance who you want to talk to, try to think about what any potential employer might want to see from you, and take along your portfolio and any examples of work that you might have.

In order to warm up present yourself to a few other companies first to help you relax before heading for the top choice company that you are really desperate to impress. Practice, as they say, makes perfect.

Don't underestimate the importance of smaller career fairs. Many big employers do venture outside of the major cities and will be less inundated at smaller fairs so will be able to give you more time.

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