Careers fairs are a fantastic place to get inspired, get excited about your future, and make incredible career connections. Make the most of these awesome opportunities with our top tips.
What are careers fairs?
Imagine a room full of employers who can't wait to hear about you, your degree, and your career goals. That's exactly what careers fairs are: an opportunity to shine and to meet potential employers and future colleagues. Chatting to representatives from diverse industries is also a great way to start exploring where your ARU degree can take you.
"I always think these events are useful just to get the opportunity to network with people. I have secured all my work experience so far via networking events at uni.”
Business Management student
Open your mind to opportunity
Check out the exhibitor info with an open mind and you’ll start to really unlock opportunities. Don’t just focus on the exhibitors from brands/companies you recognise: your ARU degree will equip you with skills sought after by diverse employers, including project management, communication and teamwork. Follow links from the event info to the company profile on Career Centre and visit their website and social media too. Investing time in exhibitor research can be a real gold mine for career ideas. Make notes, and make a list of questions, and you’ll impress employers with how ‘switched on’ and organised you are.
First impressions last
Whether you’re networking online or on campus, always aim to make a great first impression! Wear professional/smart clothes, ask questions that show off your company research, and smile and nod to show you are listening: these are all easy ways to make a positive impact on an employer. When networking online, keep your camera on if you possibly can, and set an appropriate profile picture if you can’t. Don’t be shy about asking questions on camera, or via the meeting chat, and you’ll easily stand out from the graduate crowd. Book your place on a Prepare for the Fair session, on campus or virtual, for tips on how to make the most out of a Careers Fair.
“We love coming to the ARU Fair as students are well prepared and very engaging.”
Employer at Campus Job Opportunities Fair
Grow your network
Don’t just grab the free pens at the careers fair! Request business cards and relevant links then send a personalised LinkedIn request or email after the fair: remind them of when/where you met them and thank them for their time and insights. These connections are precious resources, so make sure you nurture them carefully.
Your career: make it happen
We hope you’ll agree that events like the Graduate & Placement Expo (5 October) and Futures Festival (31 October-11 November) are both awesome ways to explore your graduate potential. Making industry connections is pretty exciting, you never know where the conversation can lead.
If you’d like to talk through your career ideas or access individual support, Drop In at Cambridge or Chelmsford campuses Monday to Friday, 11am-2pm, Peterborough Tuesday and Thursday 12 noon-2pm or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an appointment.
By Khrieu Healy
Employability & Careers Adviser
Our Employability Service works with students throughout their time at ARU and after they graduate. The Service offers careers advice, online resources, and help with job searches, applications and interview preparation. Our Employability & Careers Advisers may mention some of these resources and services in their blogs, to give you an idea of the careers support that's on offer at ARU. Some of these resources sit behind a log in and can only be accessed by current students.