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Career Fair Checklist

The career fair TUCconnect offers you a great chance to get in touch with potential employers for your future career. Take advantage of this opportunity!
You are hesitating, because you have never been to a fair before? No problem! Our guidelines for fairs will give you a list of 10 points, which will help you to be perfectly prepared for your visit.

1.) Be informed

You can get a good overview of the employers and their offers by checking our fair catalogue and list of exhibitors before your visit. This gives you the opportunity to be informed about exhibitors of your interest in advance. Inform yourself about the main facts on your chosen exhibitors, such as the branch of trades, business services, locations and biggest successes of the company. Company representatives appreciate aspirants who are well prepared.

2.) Convince them

Know your strengths and weaknesses as well as your professional aims and expectations towards the company. Think thoroughly about what you can offer to the companies and which competencies and experience you have. Why should they choose you? If you can answer the questions: What have I learned so far? What do I like? What am I good at? you will be able to approach the potential employers in a confident manner and convince them of your competencies.

3.) Check your application documents in advance

Sometimes it is helpful to have an updated CV ready to hand. Despite the fact that most companies only accept online applications, you may get the chance to exchange your CV for a business card. Consequently, you can contact the employers personally and relate to the conversation you had. By the way, a full application includes a cover letter, a current CV, an application photo and copies of your diplomas. We are happy to assist you with creating your application documents. Most importantly your CV is supposed to show your individual expertise and professional knowledge, as well as professional experience and competencies.

4.) Dress appropriately

The golden rule of job interviews applies for fairs as well: The first impression counts! This means that appropriate clothing and a neat appearance along with a self-confident manner will be noticed by the employers immediately. You may wonder what “appropriate” clothing is: it is relative to the company, the sector and your branch of study. You don’t need to wear a suit, but pick a business shirt instead of a T-shirt or a skirt rather than worn out blue jeans.

5.) Orientate yourself on site

Get an overview of the companies, their locations on site and get informed about the program, which happens along with the fair. Most career fairs offer workshops and lectures as well as assistance with your application documents or application photo shootings.

6.) Be active

Start introducing yourself at a company which is not a priority on your list – practice your self-confidence and be better prepared for the following conversations. Approach the companies proactively, introduce yourself and appear interested by engaging in eye contact. Smiling leaves a good impression. If your German language skills allow it, try to have the conversation in German and show your effort to improve your language skills. Be polite, appear self-confident, but be yourself at any time.

7.) Use your German

What is an exceptional way to make a superb first impression? When meeting a company representative, use as much German as possible. However, no one expects you to be perfect. We have heard it from several companies as well as successful students that even as little as ‘Guten Tag’, ‘Freut mich’ and ‘Mein Name ist …’ can make a huge difference in how you are perceived. The reason for that is quite simple. Being able to speak German is still a highly valuable skill in Germany. By demonstrating that skill, you show that you are aware of this fact and, at the same time, show interest and respect for the local culture. Very often, this is highly appreciated. The more you try the better.

8.) Be open for new things

It may not be obvious from the first sight if the company offers a job opportunity, which suits your interests and competencies – have the courage to approach the company representatives anyway. There is nothing to lose. Introduce yourself briefly, present your interests und close the introduction with an open question: „How can I get involved with in your company?”

9.) Ask interesting questions

If you are well prepared, you can leave a good impression by asking clever questions about the company and give good answers to questions they will pose. If you are unsure about something, reflect the conversation. Show that you are aware of the situation and that you know how to handle it.

10.) Be kept in good memory

When leaving the exhibition booth, say thank you for the conversation, take along brochures of the company and don’t forget to swap details (this is the time when you could hand over your CV in exchange for a business card). If you are unsure, let the company representative decide if he/she wants to shake your hand at the end (there are regional differences).

11.) After the fair – what to do now?

Reflect your performance: What was good, what can be improved in the future? Organize the collected information, notes and business cards – you may use the fair catalogue. If you handed in application documents, wait at least two weeks before you contact the employer by phone or email in order to check for the current status of your application. If you apply after the fair, it is recommended to relate to the conversation you had during the fair. If it didn’t work really well for you, don’t worry – every conversation is helping you to getting to know yourself better and being better prepared for the following conversations and interviews you will have. Don’t let it get your hopes down, relax and try again.

Good Luck!
Your Career Service team