Careers Advice

Insider Tips: Stand Out at Careers Fairs

Follow these steps to ensure you maximise your time spent scouting out potential recruiters

Published: 02/11/2017

man sitting at a desk, reading and writing, preparing for a career fair

Careers Fairs are a great way to identify opportunities, meet potential employers, and explore options in just one day, under one roof. Follow our insider tips on how to make the most of your time at one.

Target employers – conduct research in advance to ensure that you maximise every opportunity. Lists of participating businesses are available in advance so you can plan which employers you would like to speak to, what they are looking for in graduate recruits, and prepare a list of questions you would like to ask. Take it seriously, act and dress like a professional.

But also be flexible – factor in time to explore and find businesses which you may not have considered but look interesting. Remain open and engaged by the stands you pass and interact with the individuals rather than taking a flyer and moving along. You may find the perfect opportunity for you without even trying!

Practice makes perfect – we know from experience that Careers Fairs are challenging for some students and graduates. A few nerves are to be expected so it is worth starting with a couple of businesses that you aren’t targeting to help you to build up your confidence. Having researched the employers, you will have gained meaningful insights and commercial understanding of the business and what they are looking for. This is impressive and demonstrates you have taken the time to understand the company and that you are genuinely interested in what they do.

Make a positive first impression – firstly, go solo. Hundreds, maybe even thousands, of young recruits attend a Careers Fair on the same day as you so don’t waste this valuable opportunity by approaching employers in pairs or in a group. Going alone proves that you are capable and independent, something every employer is looking for in its new recruits!

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression and personal connections made face to face make the most impact. Establish rapport, this is much more difficult to do over email or via an application form. Then, when it’s time for you to apply for a position you can reference your initial meeting at the Careers Fair.

Talk to ScotGrad – we regularly attend Careers Fairs meeting students and graduates in locations across Scotland. Keep an eye out for our stall, where friendly staff will be on hand to talk you through the various student and graduate placements available through ScotGrad at small and medium sized businesses in Scotland. We can answer questions about our placements and offer you advice about what employers are looking for before you apply to give you the best shot at being successful!

Graduate placements with ScotGrad are available throughout the year. If you’re interested in ScotGrad check out our current placements on offer and register for updates.