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When searching for employment, there are many routes a job seeker can follow. Vacancies are advertised online, in newspapers and on job boards for you to browse. It is also useful signing up to recruitment agencies, who will help you match your skills for suitable positions of employment. One way of finding employment is to visit a career fair.

A career fair is an event that allows job candidates to meet prospective employers. Companies have stands, manned by representatives who can tell you all about the current job vacancies within the business. Apart from being a useful way to know where is recruiting, a career fair offers you the unique opportunity to discuss specific careers in detail, face to face, with possible employers.

To make the most of a career fair you must decide your objective. Many people, especially graduates, take the opportunity to visit a career fair but don’t aim to come away with anything more than information, inspiration and perhaps a couple of application forms. Career fairs are not just about securing an interview or even a contract of employment. They are sources of information and experience for job seekers. You might be interested in knowing what kind of roles you would be successful in applying for with your qualifications, or the first steps to take on a career ladder of your choice.

Ask plenty of questions. The representatives at a career fair are interested in talking to you and finding out about your qualifications, aspirations and expectations of a job. It’s a good idea to think ahead and know what answers you really want to find out. For example, would taking further qualifications add to your candidacy or is an employer more interested in experience? Maybe the company you would like to work for is looking for a motivated, keen-to-learn approach rather than previous experience. Find out what training is provided by the company, employee benefit packages, the company ethics and day to day tasks.

Be open to new ideas. Knowing what you want to do is a good start. However, it is always important to keep an open mind. Perhaps a career fair will place opportunities in your path that you didn’t expect but are better suited to you. Listen to what prospective employers have to say. They are the ones who will decide your future. Take away their advice and take praise as well as constructive criticism; both will help you in your career.

Practice your interview skills. Once you have registered your interest in a vacancy or promotion, the interview is where you need to prove you have what it takes to do the job. Career fairs are perfect for practicing your answers. The prospective employers at the fair may well ask you similar questions, such as “Why are you interested in working for this company?” You will quickly learn to edit your answers into a concise reply that gives all the right information.

Finally, use career fairs as an opportunity to network. The vacancies on offer might not suit your current skills or be practical for you to consider. However, in the future, new qualifications, grown flexibility or new vacancies in a more relevant department could mean things change. Take business cards and sign up to appropriate mailing lists. Being the first to hear about a vacancy can often be an advantage.

Career fairs offer the opportunity for job seekers and prospective employers to meet one another face to face and discuss vacancies and careers within their companies. Make the most of this opportunity by gathering information and experience and move a step closer to your dream career.

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