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Making the most of Careers & Enterprise Events

Attending Careers & Enterprise events is a fantastic way of making connections, as well as developing skills, knowledge and confidence.

There is a lot that you could gain from attending one of our events, including:

  • Networking with graduate employers and creating a good first impression
  • Exploring possible career paths and learn more about different industry sectors
  • Discovering internship and graduate opportunities
  • Finding out what organisations are really looking for
  • Asking questions that can’t be answered by a company website
  • Learning how to make your job applications stand out
  • Listening to speakers sharing expertise and experience of their area 

Before the event

  1. Research as much as you can about the employers you will meet. Impress them by knowing what they are about - who they are and what they do. First impressions count when meeting employers.
  2. Make sure make sure you look smart (and that means getting the iron out)! Dressing smartly will make you feel more professional and confident.
  3. Prepare some questions to ask the employers and alumni you will meet. Here are some event FAQs:
  • What is your typical day at work like?
  • Are there any opportunities to travel within the organisation?
  • How many jobs are offered compared to applications received?
  • What are the prospects for progression within the organisation?
  • Could you please tell me how you got started in your career?
  • What can I do now to prepare myself for your recruitment and selection process?
  • What work experience do you expect your graduates to have when applying?
  • What support and training would I receive as a graduate employee?

For more examples on event questions (do’s and don’ts), see the QM Jobs Blog.

At the event

  1. Network. When attending an event, remember that everyone is there to network so don’t be afraid to walk up to complete strangers and start conversations with them. Introduce yourself in a clear and relevant manner, mention what your professional or academic interests are or why you are attending the event, an then ask an open-ended question to get the conversation going. Speak to as many people as you can. For postgraduate study, try to speak to current students and tutors from the course you are interested in. If you are nervous about approaching an employer at a Fair, save the companies you are really interested in for later when you’ve built up confidence.
  2. Ask questions. Show that you’ve listened to the presentation by asking follow up questions, and don’t forget your prepared questions. Take notes of the responses.
  3. Ask for contact details if you would like to continue the conversation beyond the event. Some employers will give out business cards, others will simply ask you to search for them on LinkedIn.
  4. Finally, remember to smile!

After the event

  1. A day or two after the event, take the time to follow up on the connections that you have made. Thank them for taking the time to talk to you, include something that helps them to remember you (e.g., ‘I very much enjoyed our discussion on…’) and reiterate your interest in their organisation. When you make an application or get invited to interview, you can refer to this contact as someone who has inspired you, further showing your interest in the organisation.
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