Tips to give you an edge

De­cide on your job ob­jec­tives and stay fo­cused, writes Tessa Akerman

The Advertiser - Careers - - Job -

WHEN at­tend­ing a ca­reers expo it is im­por­tant to be pre­pared and re­al­is­tic about what you can ex­pect to get out of the ex­pe­ri­ence.

It is also im­por­tant not to be swayed by the free mer­chan­dise that re­cruiters pro­vide and to re­main fo­cused on the in­for­ma­tion at hand as well as that which is not so up­front.

Prince Al­fred Col­lege ca­reers coun­sel­lor Mon­ica Ma­gann says it is im­por­tant for job­seek­ers to give care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion to who they are as a per­son, their strengths and study and ca­reer in­ter­ests be­fore they at­tend a ca­reers expo.

‘‘ Are there (at least) three ar­eas of ca­reer/study in­ter­est that you can in­ves­ti­gate at the expo? Hav­ing some idea is bet­ter than hav­ing no idea,’’ she says.

Ma­gann’s sec­ond tip is to find out who is ex­hibit­ing or speak­ing at the expo and plan your visit around that.

‘‘ Timetable be­fore you ar­rive so you don’t walk in and get over­whelmed by the choices on of­fer and all the peo­ple there,’’ she says.

Use the op­por­tu­nity to net­work with rep­re­sen­ta­tives and try not to be shy. ‘‘ Wait, even if there is a queue and make a pos­i­tive con­nec­tion,’’ she says.

‘‘ If you are a job­seeker, do you have a busi­ness card you can give them? Get one from them too.

‘‘ Net­work to your heart’s con­tent.’’

An­other im­por­tant tip is to ob­tain in­for­ma­tion on your in­ter­ests and to col­lect brochures or fly­ers to read later if you hap­pen to miss out on talk­ing with some­one.

Pre­pare ques­tions about job prospects, wages, qual­i­fi­ca­tions or study re­quired and job op­por­tu­ni­ties.

‘‘ Be very care­ful about sign­ing up and pay­ing for any course or pro­gram on the day. Check terms and con­di­tions. Don’t be swayed by free gifts, raf­fle prizes and prom­ises,’’ Ma­gann says. ‘‘ You never get a sec­ond chance to make a first im­pres­sion so look pro­fes­sional and you will be treated as one.’’

Picture: Brenton Ed­wards

STUDY TIME: Prince Al­fred Col­lege Year 12 stu­dent Ben Wat­son learns about the Ca­reers Expo from Melbourne Univer­sity’s Claire Scott.

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