BEFORE THE SHOW
Research the exhibitors by visiting their websites and recruitment pages. It can be frustrating, and tiring, for exhibitors when nearly every first question that visitors ask them is “Tell me about your company and what you offer”. Remember, these are not sales people looking to try and get you to buy their goods but the recruitment team and/or potential line managers for the roles available who will be expecting you to promote yourself to them as a fantastic candidate! And having to repeat the same company information over and over again will become tiring and mean they are very likely to direct you straight to their websites rather than engage in a meaningful conversation with you. Instead, before the fair you should have already visited the all the exhibitors’ websites, learnt about their products and had a look at their application processes. That way, when you attend the event, if you have a query regarding a question on their online application form, or about the prerequisite skills they need, or concerns that you don’t match the qualifications listed as essential for the role, you can ask the recruiter for advice. For example, you may wish to see if you can use experience outside of the industry as suitable examples to demonstrate your communication or customer service skills. You can ask them what experience they had when they applied for their role and for any tips to help you through the process!
DURING THE FAIR
1. Make a good first impression. Treat the fair as an initial meeting with potential employers. Dress smartly as if you were attending a formal interview with the employer. Business dress will also boost your confidence and show you have prepared for the day in advance.
2. Don’t arrive when the show has nearly ended! Where possible, try to arrive at a reasonable time. Remember that by the end of the event exhibitors will have aching feet and croaky voices form standing and talking all day. Approach them when they are fresh and if you are able to come early in the day, the expression ‘early bird catches the worm’ can ring very true!
3. Target the employers. When you arrive you may be feeling nervous about approaching the exhibitors. ‘Practise’ your approach by standing with the companies you are less interested in to try and overcome any nerves. However, treat each visit to a stand as a chance to show your skills off, and a chance to change any preconceived ideas you have about companies and what they can offer. You may be surprised by what you learn with lots of exciting options opening up that you hadn't considered before.
4. Present yourself. You should engage the exhibitor with a short presentation about yourself – name, course, year of study, what you are looking for, what skills you can offer, and why you have come to this particular stand. You may even need to have a two-minute personal presentation ready! Be prepared to answer ‘interview-style’ questions right away and have some pertinent questions ready to ask the exhibitor. If they are working in the same type of position you would like, ask them what they enjoy about the role, how they got it and any tips they could offer applicants! You can also note the name of the person you spoke to you and refer to this when you apply to the company. As mentioned earlier, you should know what each organisation does before you go to the fair!
5. Visit ALL the stands, not just the names you have heard of. You will find out lots of useful information at these events. You will get fantastic career information from companies you may not have heard of before the event. Many other organisations are also there to help you even if they are not recruiters. Professional bodies like the Royal Aeronautical Society are often there to hand out useful job-hunting and company information on the industries they represent, and to provide you with impartial advice and guidance, particularly if you are having difficulties with the recruitment process. The Honourable Company of Air Pilots (HCAP) also attend aviation related events to provide impartial advice and free aptitude tests and feedback to budding pilots.
Most events, including Career FLIGHTPATH LIVE, also incorporate CV workshops,company seminars and specialist careers talks into the day to give you further information and advice.
AFTER THE EVENT
1. Make notes from any conversations you have had before you forget any useful tips on the way home.
2. READ through all the information you have collected! You will have some very heavy bags packed with information.
3. Note the type of application needed – CV and covering letter; online application form etc.
4. Note the closing dates for applications. Don’t confuse different employers’ closing dates. Once a date has gone, it’s usually gone!
5. Make an action plan and stick to it! For example, create a spreadsheet with the employers you will apply to, website details, type of application, closing date etc. Put the companies in order of closing dates so you can target them in the right order!
6. If necessary, seek more help from a Careers Advisor to make your applications and build this time into your action plan.
7. Go to more careers exhibitions. And find out about other networking opportunities such as seminars, conferences etc.
8. Start preparing for interviews and assessment centres!
It's not too late to book your FREE place at Career FLIGHTPATH LIVE. Simply click on the 'REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT' button below to complete your online booking.