The Careers Fair is all about meeting people. You will have plenty of organisation representatives looking forward to meeting you. They are genuinely interested in meeting students and graduates that they may work with in the future and giving you the job application and career advice that will help you reach your career goals. Hopefully this knowledge takes a little bit of the anxiety that the idea of ‘networking’ can bring, out of the equation.
Here’s some extra tips to make it both enjoyable and productive:
- Have a purpose
Don’t worry – this doesn’t have to be anything life altering. However, having a rough idea of who you’d like to talk to and some possible questions will help ease any nerves and avoid awkward silences. Explore some of the employers attending so you’re familiar with who’s relevant for you and check out our previous post, Networking Nerves, for extra tips and question ideas.
- Keep it fun
Everyone’s welcome at this event, so bring your friends and enjoy the day. Lots of employers are giving out fun freebies and everyone’s super relaxed and friendly. Even though you want to make a great impression – this isn’t a job interview, you can make a great impression simply by being friendly and enthusiastic. Partner up and help your friend strike up a conversation with a recruiter. Above all else, relax and smile – there’s no pressure.
One of the great secrets of excellent communication is listening. That should bring some relief! There’s no need to frantically think of things to say. Just ask questions that are important to you and soak up the info or advice. Actively listening will also help you to find relevance and genuine connections, which lay the foundation for ongoing relationships. Consider this – if someone gives you their business card, how are you going to follow up in a meaningful way if you weren’t really listening? Read Gosh, You’ve Got Great Chat to explore how simple it is to build rapport while ‘networking.’