Counselling and career development

Career research at careers events

Attending a careers fair event gives you the opportunity to speak to people from different industries. You may be studying a qualification that does not seem to have a direct link to the exhibitors or the presenters, but they have one thing in common: they employ people, who work in organisations, who do business with all kinds of suppliers and services. Somewhere in this value chain, your qualification will find a place to fit – either as a customer or as an employer or employee.

Preparation

  • Think about what you will wear.
  • Practice your handshake and introduction - how will you introduce yourself to recruiters?
  • Update your CV and prepare to answer questions about yourself, your career and your studies.
  • Do research about the participating organisations (start with the organisation’s website).
  • Prepare questions that you would want to ask recruiters - use your research about an organisation to inform your questions (for example: What kind of person are you seeking for this position? What particular skills do you value most?). See http://bit.ly/126tLBw for more questions.

During

  • Make an effort to speak to all the exhibitors and presenters and keep a note of who they are and what their companies do – remember to introduce yourself.
  • Speak clearly and confidently – it may be noisy, so remember to speak up if necessary.
  • Be ready to take notes: Carry a notebook and pen with you, or do it on your cell phone/ tablet.
  • Network with other students at the Careers Fair (but not at the expense of talking to employers!)
  • Don’t ask about: Information you could have easily learned on the employer’s website or salary and benefits.

After

  • Make notes about the various people you spoke to and the information you would want to follow up.
  • Connect with company representatives that you met online (for example, through LinkedIn)
  • Reflect on your experience: How did you use this opportunity? Could you link your skills and qualification to what was offered at the Fair?
  • Update your career portfolio with what you learnt at the Careers Fair.

The annual Unisa Careers Fair usually takes place in July and August at various venues. Visit the Careers Fair webpage for updates or e-mail counselling@unisa.ac.za for further information.

Last modified: 2019/02/27