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Land Your Dream Job at a NZ Career Fair!

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If you’re in university or high school, it’s pretty likely that you would’ve seen advertising for career fairs. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept or haven’t looked into them, it’s easy to let them pass you by. However, they’re actually super valuable experiences that can help you land the job of your dreams! 

So, to demystify the world of career fairs, discover what you can expect from them and learn all our top tips for making the most of the experience, read on! 

What is a Career Fair 

Career fairs (otherwise known as career expos, employment fairs or job fairs), are recruiting events that connect ambitious job hunters with recruiters! Often, the setting will look a little bit like a market; each participating employer sets up a small stand where they market the career pathways offered by their company.  

What Can You Expect From a Career Fair? 

When you’re gearing up for your first career fair, you can expect to meet a tonne of different employers from a myriad of different industries. There will also be plenty of exciting opportunities to: 

  • Attend workshops and talks to get you career-ready 
  • Network with recruiters and company representatives 
  • Discover a variety of job openings 
  • Learn about career pathways  

And much, much more! 

Are Career Fairs Worth It 

The short answer to this question is a resounding yes! However, if you’re looking for a more detailed answer on why career fairs are so fantastic, check out our list of top employment expo perks; if these don’t sell you, we don’t know what will! 

1. You’ll Learn How to Market Yourself to Employers 

The very best part about career fairs is that real recruiters often show up to connect with future talent. This presents the (extremely valuable) opportunity for you to gauge what their company is looking for in future hires and build some rapport with the hiring crew. In short, it’s a win-win situation! 

2. You Can Ask (Lots and Lots of) Questions 

Whether you’ve been dreaming of infiltrating a certain industry since age five or you’re just starting to explore a pathway you’re curious about, it’s common to have a few burning questions about your future career. By attending an employment fair, you’ll be able to get some much-needed clarity from industry pros and feel more confident about your future path. 

3. You Can Network 

While networking can seem a little bit scary, it’s incredibly important for those of you trying to build your careers! In fact, sources state that a whopping 85% of jobs are filled through networking, and up to 70% of jobs aren’t even published publicly. Moreover, LinkedIn’s research revealed that 80% of professionals consider networking to be a key element of their career success. With all this in mind, you might want to start rubbing shoulders with some professionals in your industry, and career expos are the perfect settings to do so! 

4. You Can Speed Up the Application Process 

This perk is one that draws the most job-hunters to career fairs; if you make a good enough impression, a recruiter might schedule you an interview on the spot! The more effort you put into connecting with various companies, the more representatives will be walking away with your CV, and the more chances you’ll have to land a job or internship! Plus, making a face-to-face connection with the hiring crew helps you stand out from other applicants applying online, and it never hurts to give yourself a little leg up. 

5. Diversify Your Job Prospects 

Often, the job opportunities that suit us best aren’t obvious; there are a tonne of career pathways that we might not even be aware of, and attending career fairs helps bring them to light! It’s fine to attend a career fair with one industry or company in mind. However, your experience will be much richer, and more eye opening, if you maintain an open mind! 

Tips for Making the Most of a Career Fair 

Making the effort to turn up at a career fair is one thing, but making the most of the experience is another. Instead of being a passive participant, we’ve put together a list of ways you can maximise employment expo perks. Read on to learn how to kickstart your career journey at a career expo; it really isn’t that hard! 

1. Dress Professionally 

It’s important to make a great first impression when you’re attending career expos. After all, you’ll be spending the whole event rubbing shoulders with potential employers! You don’t have to go so far as to wear a suit, but a business casual outfit definitely wouldn’t hurt.  

2. Act Like You’re at A Job Interview  

To make the most of a career expo, you’ll want to act like you’re at a job interview because, for all intents and purposes, you kind of are! Putting your best foot forward could lead to job opportunities, internships, work experience, and more! 

3. Engage with Company Representatives 

Trust us, we all fall victim to networking jitters from time to time. However, there’s no need to be nervous! Employers attend these events because they genuinely want to connect with their future talent; they’re just as excited to talk to you as you are to talk to them, so make the most of the networking opportunity. As much as it can feel like it, you’re not bothering anyone.  

If you’re feeling a little stuck when coming up with conversation starters, try these ones out! 

  • What does a typical day at [insert company name] look like  
  • Can you share a little bit about your hiring process 
  • What are your favourite aspects about working for [insert company name] 
  • Can you tell me a little about your company culture? 
  • Are there initiatives for employees looking to upskill while working for [insert company name]? 

4. Follow Up on LinkedIn or via Email

The best way to demonstrate that you’re serious about your future is to prove that you’re willing to go the extra mile. By following up with the recruiters or company representatives you meet at career expos, you’ll be setting yourself apart from the many other students they will have met. Not many job hunters will take the additional step of following up, but your doing so is bound to impress! 

Where Can I Find Career Fairs to Attend?  

While there are a few career fairs advertised online, it’s best to head straight to your school’s career advisor for advice; they’ll definitely be able to point you in the right direction! 

Don’t Put It Off! 

Now that you’re well-equipped for your first career fair, it’s time to dive into the deep end! The best time to attend a career fair is as soon as possible, so find your next event and start planning your talking points today; you never know, it could just lead to your dream job! 

Want to get networking? Head to our events page to see if there are any upcoming career events happening near you! 


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