Jobs fair advice for jobseekers

Grow People

Getting the most from a jobs fair

Jobs fairs are a great way to get in front of an employer and sell your skills. Here are our top tips for getting the most from these events.


Do your research – most jobs fairs will advertise an exhibitor list before the event. If you can find a list, contact the jobs fair organisers and request one. Now you know who will be attending, you can research the companies that you’ll be meeting. Having knowledge of an organisation and being able to show genuine interest in the company will really help you to stand out from the crowd.

Make sure you know how to get to the venue, where you’re going to park or where the nearest bus stop is. Plan a time to arrive and give yourself plenty of time to walk around the jobs fair.

Print some CVs and make sure you have a folder to keep them neat in. You don’t want to be handing out folded, crumpled or torn CVs.

Dress to impress

Treat the jobs fair as you would treat a job interview. After all, you’ll be face to face with a potential employer, so you want to make a good first impression. Check out our advice on dressing for interviews to get some inspiration.

Speak to everyone

It can be tempting to only speak to the big employers or the handful of employers you’ve targeted from your research. But it’s always a good idea to speak to every employer at a jobs fair as you never know what they might be offering on the day. For example, a care home will obviously be recruiting for care assistants, but they might also be looking for cleaners, administrators, receptionists, maintenance workers or gardeners. It’s always worth a chat, and at the very least you’ll be expanding your network.

Introducing yourself

Make sure you introduce yourself to each employer. Giving your name and a handshake can go a long way in making a good first impression and building rapport. Tell the employer a bit about yourself, what you’re looking for and what transferable skills you have. Remember, interactions at jobs fairs should be conversations, not sales pitches, so make sure to ask questions, talk about your experience and build a picture of the real you.

Body language

Did you know we communicate more with our body language, gestures and tone of voice than by the words we actually use? That’s why body language is vital when attending a jobs fair. Eye contact, smiling and nodding will show you’re interested and enthusiastic. If you’re slouched or fidgeting this might make you come across as bored or uninterested. Find out more about making body language work for you in our employability hub.

Don’t just hand them a CV

A CV is a great resource to summarise your skills and experience and give an employer your contact details. However, don’t rely on your CV at a jobs fair. After all, this is a chance to get in front of an employer and sell yourself in person. Make sure you leave a copy of your CV with the employer though so they can refer back and follow up with you. Read our tips for writing a strong CV.

Follow up

As well as giving the employer your CV, you should also try and get their contact details. That way, you can follow up after the jobs fair to re-establish contact and highlight you are still interested in working for them. It only needs to be a short email, and if you followed the steps above, the employer will hopefully remember you and initiate further conversation.

By doing some preparation before the jobs fair, you can go into the event feeling confident and open to opportunities. Making a good first impression is vital and jobs fairs are also a great opportunity to ask questions and find out about organisations you wouldn’t normally consider working for. Treat every interaction as an opportunity and remember you follow up with the new members of your network.

Upcoming job fairs in Southampton.

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