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Networking at job fairs

As a recruitment & selection agency, Hays often participates in job fairs and events to develop its network. We represent all our well-known and lesser-known clients who offer us junior and senior jobs in all industries. Below we provide some tips on how to get the most from your visit to a job fair.

Get prepared

Present yourself in 30 seconds
Give it a try. It seems easy, but 30 seconds is not long and you need to make certain your contact will clearly remember your message. At a job fair you only have a few moments to impress your contact and gain information. To prepare, you can write down 5 competencies about yourself and explain these out loud in 30 seconds. Make the most of your 30 seconds to persuade your contact.

Tip: remember 5 competencies you certainly want to mention.

Write a CV
Draft a one-page CV, possibly using both sides, to ensure the pages of your CV do not get mixed up. Particularly on job fairs, it is convenient to have a professional profile photo on your CV to help your contact remember you later. Put your experience and competencies in the spotlight and do not hesitate to provide a brief description of what you are looking for in a job or an employer. Provide several copies of your CV and store them neatly in a folder.

Tip: ask several people to read your CV and make suggestions.

Venture out
The job fair website tells you in advance which companies will be participating. Decide which companies you certainly want to meet and do some research. Check their websites and current job vacancies and write down all the questions you want to ask.

Tip: social media are a good reflection of a company’s culture.

Dress for success

Make sure to leave a good first impression. Leave nothing to chance. Do not smoke or drink any alcohol before your visit and wear professional clothes. A bag to hold your CVs, business cards and brochures is convenient and looks professional. Also make sure you always smell fresh.

Tip: take a break every now and then to take some time before engaging in another conversation.

Take action on the spot

Leave a positive impression
Chin up, back straight and take a deep breath. Visit the companies you selected. Start with a firm handshake, stick to the 30-second presentation you prepared and try to gain more information from your contact. Ask some specific questions and try to cater to the employer’s needs by providing more information about your relevant competencies. In exchange for your CV, you can ask for your contact’s business card.

Tip: smile. There is nothing like a lovely smile to make a great first impression.


Broaden your interests
Also try to make contact with the lesser-known companies on your list. They often need talented candidates and can help you jump-start your career. A recruitment and selection agency like Hays or Hays Response can quickly offer you several interesting job vacancies with several employers in your field.

Tip: an open mind reflects ambition, so talk about it.

Back home

You did it! You met (almost) everyone on your list and it feels great. Just one thing remains to be done now. Take all the business cards you received and write a personal e-mail to your contacts. Thank them for their time and send them an electronic version of your CV. Do this straight away or on the day after the job fair to ensure your contacts remember you and have easy access to your email address in their mailbox.

Don't forget to drop by the Hays stand!

Make sure to visit the Hays stand. We know which candidates our clients are looking for and we can also get you started in your search for the right job and the right employer. Hays has years of experience as a recruitment & selection agency and specialises in 14 different fields. We offer temporary and permanent jobs as well as specific freelance positions.

In addition, our colleagues from Hays Response are the ideal partner to find you a job immediately. They are constantly looking for talented candidates on behalf of their clients to immediately fill support positions in administration, logistics, finance or sales. These job vacancies are often very urgent cases in which professionals are wanted as soon as possible to get on with the work. They are an ideal way to launch your career or find a new job fast.

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