Home > Employment > 24 Hours – Count down to the Jobs and Careers Fair

24 Hours – Count down to the Jobs and Careers Fair

24Jack Bauer from the series 24 manages to achieve a lot in one day. Can you out do him and save your career?! The Jobs and Careers Fair is tomorrow and there is still time to make sure you’re fully primed. Remember, any prep you can do before the day is better than none at all…


We’re not expecting CTU levels of knowledge but you need to know about the event; what it is, where it’s happening, who is attending and what is expected of you. Do some research into the companies attending, including looking at the vacancies they’re advertising on CareerHub, so you know if they’re looking for your skills. Employers tell us that one of the biggest turn off’s when meeting a student at a fair is being asked ‘What do you do then?’ How can you impress a company if you don’t know about their activities? Be prepared to stand out and flatter them with your knowledge!

Be aware of what employers are looking for from you. What skills are important to them? What should you use to sell yourself to them? Now these will be different from employer to employer, company to company, but the video below is a good indication of what to look for…

Now you know about the employer it’s time to craft some questions for them. Remember that those on the stands were probably graduate recruits so they will have been through the process. Think about what you are asking though; consider questions like “What challenges did you face in your first year in the company?” rather than, “How much is the pay?” or “Do I have to work weekends?” The questions you ask are a further extension of your brand; you want to be seen as professional so your questions need to be well thought out. Display your commercial awareness and steer clear of any question that can easily be answered from a quick Google search.

Jobs and Careers Fair

Is your CV ready to give out? It’s an easy trap to fall into; you think you’ll just pop along to the fair in your study break and happen to bump into your perfect company. They ask for your CV and you can’t produce it because it’s still on your computer or hasn’t been updated in six months. Check through your CV now, is it a bin or a win? Are you making any common mistakes? After you’ve checked (and double-checked) it, print some off and take them with you, in a folder so they’re not creased. Alternatively, if you feel technically advanced enough, store a copy in the Cloud (for example in Dropbox or Google Drive). If an employer asks for it you can email a link, along with a short note thanking them for their time, from your smart phone or tablet.

LinkedIn Logo

Finally, check your online profiles. Setting some privacy filters on Facebook is always a good idea but what you really want to be looking at is LinkedIn. It is the professional network after all. When you’ve updated your CV make sure that you’ve matched it to your LinkedIn profile. Here you can link to content, like projects completed on your course, and showcase them outside your physical CV. And whilst your there, take a look at their company pages or take the opportunity to snoop on employees profiles to see the type of skills that they promote. The bet is that is what they’re looking for in you too.

We’ll be running a Networking and Preparing for the Fair workshop today 15 May 2014 where we’ll go over things in more detail. And we look forward to seeing you at the fair – please come and say hello!

photo credit: Shekhar_Sahu via photopin cc

JP Profile

Jerome Price is the Online and Digital Content Manager in the Careers and Placements Service at the University of Hertfordshire.

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