Just like a pizza, everything is better when it’s delivered to you.
That’s what an expo like the University Careers and Employment Expo is. A metaphorical pizza shop. (Bear with me here…)
Rather than having to go seek out your potential careers and graduate programs, for one day an expo delivers them straight to you. #convenience
Career expos are your chance to make a great impression on your future employer. So don’t waste the opportunity.
You don’t have to be in your last year of study to come to a career expo. There are plenty of opportunities on offer such as internships, Work Integrated Learning (WIL) placements, part-time jobs, project-specific work as well as graduate positions and graduate development programs.
Follow our advice on how to get the most out of your day.
Dress to impress
Thousands of students visit expos each year, so make sure you stand out.
But remember to be memorable for the RIGHT reasons. Everybody remembers the guy that showed up in the orange neon suit, but do they want him representing their business?
Research the organisations
Employers want to see that you’re actually interested in working for their organisation.
Show them you know your stuff by researching the aims of the business, their history and the projects that they’ve been working on. You’ll knock their socks off when you can show that you’re familiar with the company and eager to work with them to towards their goals.
Put all that research you did to good use by asking the employers relevant and specific questions.
Don’t just ask about something that could easily be found by a quick google search.
Some example questions are, “what is the work culture like at your business?” or “is there much potential for career progression in a graduate role?”
‘Networking’ often seems like one of those university buzzwords that sounds really complicated and generally unpleasant.
If you’re naturally shy like me, it also seems like an intimidating process. Nothing about ‘schmoozing’ is appealing.
You’re going to have to bite the bullet and start creating those networks though. Around 70% of jobs aren’t advertised, so it seems the saying “it’s who you know, not what you know” rings true to a certain extent.
Career expos are the perfect opportunity to start building your professional network.
And honestly, it’s not as bad as it sounds.
Prepare your own personal pitch. Don’t be afraid of selling yourself. After all, they want to know why they should hire you over the next person.
An expo is a low-pressure environment where you can just chat to employers and highlight your strengths. Show them why you would be a great fit for their business.
Remember to be conscious of body language and make an effort to look engaged. Take notes. And don’t forget to ask for a business card so you can follow up later.
Update your LinkedIn Account
If you don’t already have a LinkedIn account, get on it!
LinkedIn is a great way to cement those professional networks you make at the Expo.
Write down the name of the employers you speak to and add them as connections after the event. This demonstrates you’re serious about wanting to work for this organisation.
University Career Expos often feature a LinkedIn booth on the day where you can get your headshot taken by a professional, so keep an eye out for them.