5 dos & don'ts - whether you're new to the industry, or just changing pace
When it comes to finding a new job, scrolling through endless web listings can be pretty demoralizing, and quickly succumbs to the law of diminishing returns. For those who like the hunt to be a little more hands on, look no further than Leeds Digital Jobs Fair, at First Direct Arena.
Now in its third year, The Leeds Digital Job Fair is a free event, open to those at any stage of their digital career.
Taking place on the 28th April, 50 of the city’s employers will be in attendance, offering more than 600 vacancies across design, development, marketing and engineering.
Whether you’re a go-getting soon-to-be graduate or current professional who fancies a change of pace, here’s some advice that’ll have you swaggering into Leeds Direct Arena with all the confidence of an Apprentice contestant in week one.
Do: Dress the part
Whatever that part may be. Smart casual fits the bill for more digital roles nowadays, but be willing to tailor your outfit to the particular industry you plan to work in – first impressions really do count and you may well find yourself enjoying one-on-one facetime with the person set to control your next career move. Now may not be the time to crack out your ‘hilarious’ slogan tee.
That said, don’t be afraid to show a little personality – this whole employment thing has to work both ways and it’s important to be comfortable. A statement pair of shoes or some quirky eyewear just might help you get remembered when employers are reflecting on the hundreds of people they met that day, and in turn, it may have an unquantifiable boost on your confidence too.
Don't: Forget your CV
Always, always print more CV’s that you think you need. Carrying CVs and Business Cards may seem a little old school in a world of Slack invites and Squarespace Portfolios, but there’s no harm in having a physical copy to hand over there and then.
Make sure that your information is up-to-date, concise and well-presented – keep flashy fonts to a minimum and allow your words to speak for themselves (unless you’re pursuing a career in the design industry, of course). Where relevant, include social media links, but be sure to have a swift check of their public content before your new boss checks it, and finds themselves questioning your dedication to anything other than the sesh.
Do: Prepare relevant questions
You don’t need to go all Fifteen To One on your new potential employer, but the digital jobs fair is a great opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the industry or workplace you wish to enter.
Ask them about the challenges of their workplace, the opportunities for development, any personal perks that come from joining their team. Do your research and don’t be afraid to show off your knowledge – just like a first date, you should each be striving to impress each other.
Don’t: Be a know-it-all
The digital fair is no 18-30s club – in fact, it’s open to those at every level of their career. Be open and willing to take the advice that’s on offer; whether you consider yourself an expert in your field or not, there’s plenty to be gained from exploring new opportunities or brushing up on long-forgotten skills.
CV workshops and Google seminars on the day will expose you to the most up-to-date knowledge and put you in touch with like-minded people, making it a perfect networking opportunity for freelancers.
Do: Keep an open mind
For graduates especially, it’s easy to stick with your degree path and set your heart on a specific career without exploring all of the other options. Keep as many doors opens as possible – take the time to work around the fair and see what catches your eye, even if it wasn’t what you came for initially. Who knows, something might pique your interest completely out of the blue, or you may find that you’re qualified in more areas than you realise.
And if all else fails…
Practice your air hockey skills. If you’re not hitting it off with your preferred head honcho, challenge him or her to a sporting battle – the job fair comes complete with chill-out gaming zones where you can slam some pucks and practice your elevator pitch all at the same time. What’s not to love?