Industry Expo and Open Day is an annual Ara event. It's a rare chance to meet industry representatives and to find out what they're looking for in employees.
We've prepared these tips to help you get the most out of this opportunity.
Before the expo
Polish your CV
If you have more than one career path in mind, then prepare tailored versions of your CV that are specific to the roles you're applying for.
Research the organisations attending
Research the organisations who will be attending so you can speak with their representatives intelligently and ask the right questions. You need to have some sense of what the organisation does and whether there's a fit between your skills and interests and the employer's needs. Learn about the company's mission, its products and services, and the opportunities for intern or graduate roles.
Dress for the job you want. You need to present yourself well, wear tidy clothes and make sure you're well groomed when meeting prospective employers. Remember, their first impression of you will be how you're presented yourself.
You should consider how you will introduce yourself e.g. "I'm Joe Smith and currently completing my degree in Sales & Marketing. I'm looking for an internship (or employment opportunity) in marketing and I read on your website that you …………….. and I've done some project work that I believe gives me skills related to this."
Prepare questions in advance. These might be:
- what are the key aspects you look for in new employees?
- what particular skills do you value the most?
- what do you like most about working for your organisation?
- I read about 'abc' project on your website – what is your involvement in that work?
Have a Plan
Check out the floor plan of where employers are situated and create a list of the most important employers to the least important so you can plan who you will approach. Be open-minded and flexible to change.
At the expo
Make a good first impression
Dress appropriately, watch your manners and use positive body language - stand up straight, introduce yourself with a good handshake, make eye contact, be friendly with a positive attitude. Make sure your mobile is turned off.
Look like an organised person
Have a place for holding brochures and business cards given to you by industry representatives. Store your questions and CVs in a folder to hand out to employers.
if your field of study promotes the use of technology, have a mobile device such as an iPad or tablet.
Close the conversation with a thank you. Take notes on your conversation for future follow-ups.
Be open to all opportunities
You are at Expo to get career information – take the opportunity to network with industry representatives who aren't on your target list, learn about other jobs and to 'practise' initiating a conversation.
After the expo
Add further information
Expand on your notes from your conversations immediately after the expo, while the information is still memorable.
Email 'thank you' notes
Send thank you notes within 24 hours and refer to aspects of the conversation you had. Ensure each thank you note is error-free. Remember to attach any information requested by the industry representative.