Common questions & advice on in-person Careers Fairs

In person career blog

Last Friday, Darren Johnson, Careers Consultant, ran a virtual Q&A session on making the most of Careers Fairs; with many of the questions aimed at in-person fairs. To provide some tips and reassurance on attending in-person fairs Darren share`s some of these questions and answers 

Is there a dress code?

There is no strict dress code for attending; although it is important to consider the impression you want to give off – you could be meeting staff involved in the hiring process including very senior staff you may come across again in the selection process if you decide to apply. First impressions really do count! As a guideline smart casual in clothes which make you feel comfortable and confident is advised.

Will employers expect me to give them a CV?

Employers are not expecting CVs to be handed in, however having a CV to hand can be beneficial in that it can be a prompt for you when speaking and highlighting your achievements, for example. It also gives off the impression you are taking a professional approach to the fair, creating a positive first impression!

Will the same employers be at the in-person fair as virtual fairs?

Where a fair is being run both in person and virtual some of the same employers will be at both. To meet the widest range of employers, attend both events if you can. You can view the full list of employers attending each fair on Handshake.

Can I expect the offer of an interview at in-person fairs?

No, just because you are meeting in person, employers won`t make offers to interview. However, after a conversation with you they may encourage you to apply!  So be prepared to talk positively about yourself and show interest in them and their organisation, remember to smile and have eye contact! You can view the employers attending on each Fair on Handshake via the Career Fair search tab.

I want to attend an in-person fair but feel nervous?

Coming along with a peer can help to feel more reassured. The friendly approachable Careers Service staff will also be available at a stand. Feel free to come on over for advice on how to approach employers. Remember you are less likely to feel nervous if well prepared, make sure to research the firms beforehand on Handshake including the roles being offered. Prioritise employers by interest and how well you see yourself being a “good fit”.

How will I know where employers will be?

A floorplan will be included in the digital fair brochure. Scan the brochure QR code when you arrive at the in-person fair to access the brochure. You can also access the floorplan on Handshake. Click on Map in the top left. The map will be made available 1 day before the event.

Download the Handshake app via Google or Apple Store ahead of the fair. This will speed up the registration process.

  • Remember to be patient! In -person fairs can provide the buzz and excitement of a community feel which can be very refreshing, but you may need to wait a few minutes to speak directly to employers. Subtly listening to conversations while you wait may be beneficial in picking up useful information (others ahead of you may be asking the questions you were going to ask).
  • Check out more advice on questions to ask employers on our pre-recorded YouTube clip here
  • Not sure about the difference between virtual and in person fairs, check out our blog here.

Finally, I will be running an in-person Q & A session Friday 7th October at 1pm – 1.45pm on Making the most of Careers Fairs, register on Handshake here so if you have additional questions not answered above. It’s a great opportunity to get them answered in an informal setting!

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