Career fairs: Why are they important?
I’m sure many of us go through our student life, thinking about careers. I mean that is the whole point of studying; we’re trying to reach an end goal. You want to be able to stand proudly and say I graduated with this bachelors/masters or PhD. Your family want to place a graduation picture on their mantle and let everyone who comes by the house know that this is their child, who they are so proud of. The question we forget to ask amidst all of this is: are we happy with our choices? This is where career fairs come in extremely handy.
Career fairs allow you to see what is out there in the big world. What could you be doing, what you could possibly do in the future and these options have not necessarily crossed your mind. For example, I’ve known people who wanted to study medicine, they were so sure about this all through secondary year, only to decide last minute after visiting a career fair.. Hold on, I can go into finance instead.
Career fairs allow you to narrow down or focus your options. Some of us didn’t know what we wanted to do during our secondary years, like me. I was absolutely baffled by the concept of choosing one career and I felt uneasy because it seemed I was the only one who didn’t know what I wanted to do. Going to a career fair allowed me to see what I could do if I chose a particular degree, in my case English Language. I didn’t realise that I could basically go down any career path with my degree, since language is necessary in almost every industry.
Career fairs allow you to meet other individuals who are on the same boat as you. Fear not, nothing is set in stone and meeting people allows you to share experiences and to take in their experiences as you go around talking to professionals and other students.
Career fairs allow you to find potential/future jobs and internships. Speaking to the professionals there and letting them know about your qualifications, predicted grades etc. can open doors for you in ways you didn’t know. Some professionals or employers can be so impressed by you as a package, professionally and personally, they might even hire you on the spot or at least interview you right away.
Career fairs allow you to get a deeper look at your industry of interest. This allows you to see who are the big shots in that industry; how their packages differ, what benefits do they provide, what salary should you expect from them, what hopes of future promotions would be available to you, etc.
There’s no point talking about how important career fairs are if we don’t give you a couple of tips on how to be prepared. So here you go:
Take a hard copy of your updated CV: hand these out to people of interest as you network during the day.
Look professional: ladies; go easy on the makeup, the perfume and the bling. Men; no caps, hoodies and trainers. It’s all about showing them what you would look like if you worked with them and how you would fit in professionally. Trendy is not the key here.
Chew gum before the fair: if you’re going to talk to many people, make sure your breath is fresh and don’t chew gum while talking to professionals, it’s not professional at all. This is something a lot of people skip, but it really does reflect on you.
Have your answers ready: rehearse answers about your experience and qualifications at home, so you’re ready to shoot them out when someone asks without feeling nervous. You don’t want to be robotic, monotone or pushy, but you most definitely want to be confident.
Smile: you want others to see that you are a warm person who they would enjoy working with.
Now if this has got you motivated to go out there to find your dream job and career, then you’ll be happy to know that UBT will be holding their very own career fair this week. From the 22nd – 24th March at the Hilton Hotel- Corniche. UBT career day 2016 will be running; hosted by Prince Mishaal Bin Majed Bin Abdul Aziz – Governor of Jeddah-, so register for the event( registration is mandatory for admission), read our tips and go show them what you have to offer.
Location: 7537 Al Kurnaysh Rd. , Al Shati’ dist., Jeddah