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Why career fairs are important to job seekers

By Peter Kamuri | Updated Fri, June 5th 2015 at 00:00 GMT +3
Students from Oshwal Academy at the University of Nairobi's stand during the 17th Nairobi International Education Fair at Sarit Expo Centre, Nairobi recently. [PHOTO: ANDREW KILONZI/STANDARD]

NAIROBI: Today’s career and job fairs are becoming popular as a one-stop shop for providing information on career growth and job placements.

This was exhibited last week, when thousands of young job seekers turned up at the People’s Park in Machakos County to register their details with the county government and even blue chip companies with the hope of securing jobs.

The job seekers had an opportunity to meet with corporate honchos. The lucky ones secured jobs on the grounds. Others left with the hope that they will be invited for interviews.

Job fairs are becoming popular with the unemployed as they enable them to meet potential employers and perhaps secure employment. With many jobs unadvertised openly, the forum provide openings for many.

The fairs can provide a chance for one to learn about career related issues such as choosing a career, networking skills and opportunities for getting internship or even a job.

In addition, they can help job seekers to identify various jobs and the career options and opportunities available.

However, to reap from these career fairs and jobs expo, prepare well, otherwise you will not get the full assistance that such opportunities offer.

Preparing questions

Do research and establish a few facts about the institutions which are showcasing their products before attending the event. Having background information will help you to prepare questions in advance and know what to expect.

If you plan to attend the career or job fair, it is a good idea to arrive in good time. This will give you enough time to settle down and to register if there is need to do so. You will also be well placed to know where to start and getting the day’s programmes.

It is advisable to carry with you writing materials like a pen or pencil and a note book. Have a folder to hold your materials on. Although most of these things are given by the exhibitors, it is advisable to be prepared before hand.

Take advantage of the time available and visit as many institutions or companies that interest you as possible. The career fairs and job expos provide you with a rare opportunity to meet potential employers or career experts who may be hard to come by.

Be prepared to ask appropriate questions. However, they must be relevant to the institution and also your needs.

FEEDBACK GUARANTEED

This may be a rare moment to ask those questions that you consider important and feedback is guaranteed instantaneously. Be specific and declare your career interests. If seeking for a job, have your curriculum vitae and state the type of position in which you are interested in.

It is important to have a follow up after attending a career fair. You can visit the institution, call or visit their websites periodically.

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