Preparing for a careers fair is just as important as attending on the day. With so much on offer and lots of information available, you need to be ready to seize the day. With this in mind, we have created a checklist to help you prepare for our gradireland Graduate Careers Fair on 01 October 2021.
1. Register or update your profile
Your event profile is the single most important part of your virtual careers-fair experience. This is essentially how you attend the fair. Employers and postgraduate providers can see this and can judge you based on it. Nothing gives a bad impression like an incomplete profile. So, be sure to fill all aspects of your profile and add in any extra information you feel is relevant to your experience and skills. When uploading your CV make sure it is updated, well-formatted, and matches the information on your profile and LinkedIn page. Plus, don’t forget to add the last finishing touches like adding a photo! You can take this before the event, make sure that it is professional.
2. Test your technology
If you do any preparation, this is it! Testing your technology prior to the event is so important. You don’t want to log in to a meeting with an employer only to find out that your webcam or audio is not working. Check your mic, camera, speakers, and internet connection before the event! Have a backup plan in place, we all know live-streaming and virtual tools can fail, sometimes without apparent reason, so borrow another device from a family member if needed! No matter how good you think your battery is, be sure to have it plugged in during the event, you don’t want to be scrambling around during a meeting looking for a charger.
3. Find a quiet area in your house/apartment
Before the fair, choose a quiet area in your house/apartment. Make sure it’s clean, well-lit and well organised and remove any distracting objects from you and your camera lens. You should also make housemates and/or your family aware of the event so that they can keep noise and disturbance to a minimum. This will help you minimise distraction and allow you to be fully present on the day.
4. Do your research
Before the event visit the site to see the list of exhibitors attending. Have a look at the seminar schedule too, get familiar with the speakers participating. Then, write down a list of exhibitors that you have an interest in and start researching them. Check out their company website, look at their social platforms, view the gradireland employer hub, and search online for recent news articles and other relevant information. This will help you prepare for any one-to-one meetings.
5. Book one-to-one meetings
After researching the exhibitors attending you should have a good idea of who you would like to meet on the day. Book your meeting in advance as slots are limited and can book out fast. Pre-registered attendees will gain access to this function one week before the gradireland Graduate Careers Fair, so be sure to register and give yourself a head start.
6. Perfect your elevator pitch
Have an ‘elevator pitch’ ready before you meet or chat with exhibitors. This is essentially a few short lines introducing yourself, your interests, education, experience, and what you want to find out from the exhibitor. Much of the information in your elevator pitch is transferable but do target it to the company, organisation, or course provider you’re speaking with. For example, you may have experience working on a project in events, this would be worth mentioning in a meeting with a company that hosts events or operates in marketing. If, you have completed a web development project, this would be more relevant to an IT company.
7. Prepare some questions
At this point, you should have done your research and pre-booked your one-to-one meetings. So, now it is time for you to prepare your questions. Think back to when you researched the person and their organisation, what information wasn’t available that you wish you had? Make a list and have them ready to ask in your meetings. If you’re still unsure, then check out the following questions, they should help get you started.
- A particular role or course
- The hiring/ application process
- Their experience and career recommendations
- Growth and development opportunities
- The company culture
- How you can stay in touch
Read the seminar descriptions and speaker bios before the event and choose seminars to attend. Pre-booking seminars in advance will enable you to receive an email reminder when the sessions have started. This is a great way to ensure you won’t miss out on seminars you want to attend.
9. Choose what to wear
You may not be seen from head-to-toe, but you should still dress professionally. Even if you don’t have a one-to-one meeting organised, an exhibitor may reach out to you on the day. Be ready to portray yourself in the best possible light. Before the event, plan you’re clothing. Choose neutral tones like black, navy, grey, or beige. Clothing should be well-fitted, not too tight but not sloppy either. Here are some clothing combinations you should consider, light coloured shirts with slacks/trousers or a long plain skirt. Be sure to wash and press your clothing beforehand!
10. Be ready to put yourself out there
Virtual careers fairs can seem daunting, especially if you have a one-to-one meeting with an employer or postgraduate provider. Just remember to practice, practice and practice again, with family members or housemates. The more you do this the less daunting it becomes. Remember this is your opportunity to kickstart your career, so don’t let a little preparation put you off! If you haven’t already, register now for the gradireland Graduate Careers Fair and start getting ready today!
If you have any more questions or queries, get in touch at email@example.com and we will be happy to answer these for you!