The value of meet ‘n’ greet – visiting careers fairs


    July 14, 2023


    A new year, a new round of careers fairs. Whether you are a school leaver seeking an apprenticeship or internship, aiming to go to university, or chasing a graduate programme, there is a plethora of options out there and career fairs provide the opportunity to meet universities and potential employers.


    At Signify, we are always on the hunt for young talent as we understand the strengths and value they bring to the workplace- from fresh skills, to questioning processes, to bringing new ideas – the list goes on! One of the best ways for us to connect with this future workforce and for the future workforce to understand what any organisation can offer is by attending careers fairs. Not only do they allow us to get first hand research and feedback, but they also allow us to gauge interest points for this young generation and make sure we continue to be attractive to the future talent.


    In the case of the students, careers fairs create a space of opportunity and inspiration. They can open minds to the prospects of the workplace and bust the myth that the only route after college/school is university. Read on to understand why careers fairs are a great option for any business and students, and why we at Signify enjoy them so much.

    Why are careers fairs valuable for businesses?

    I believe careers fairs are a great resource for students to explore prospective jobs, whether it be straight out of college into an apprenticeship, or a post graduate full-time role.


    It is so easy to get lost in job opportunities online, especially when you are unsure of the career direction you want to head in. For students, careers fairs are a great way to filter opportunities, and businesses too, promoting roles that are best suited to the younger generation - we get to target specific roles to the specific demographic. Similarly, the colleges that host the fairs get a chance to inspire and motivate their students for the future of work. Career fairs also provide opportunity for employers to enhance brand awareness.


    While Google may seem like all you need to job hunt, there are many advantages to in person careers that you may not have considered.

    What’s in a careers fair for students?

    Get familiar: A careers fair gives you the opportunity with an employer or the team representing the firm. This helps you get familiar with them, their brand and the kind of work they do – something you can’t find out from a simple google search and can’t gauge from a simple job description posted online.


    Networking opportunities: A professional network is critical for finding a good job. It also opens up other opportunities that may not be obvious immediately. Building your network offers you the chance to show someone that you are trustworthy and skilled. You might not find a job at your first careers fair, but you may end up with a contact who can help you find a job down the road. While you can build a network through online sources, meeting someone face to face builds trust and respect much faster.


    Learning beyond textbooks: Most job fairs at colleges and universities offer more than just the opportunity to meet with recruiters. Many of them offer seminars and lectures on how to land a job. You can learn about an industry, skills to hone, and get help brushing up your resume. You can learn new interview skills; you can learn about the job search resources available on your college/university campus. Yes, in some cases you can get these same skills with online courses, but without the personal touch.


    Personal research: The main reason everyone should give a careers fair a chance is for research. Whether it be gaining insight into all the opportunities that are present nowadays, developing a clearer understanding of the world of work, or even finding a potential career path, you will gain a far more rounded opinion of the opportunities available and how you will advance in the future.


    If you are unsure about your career and the options available to you, I think careers fairs are the best place to window shop and understand what all is on the market. From deciding which industry interests you, to specific roles, they are a great way to help you imagine where you want to go and how to get there with relevant experience.

    Having been a student who was unsure of the career direction I wanted to take, careers fairs seem a great opportunity to window shop and explore all the opportunities the market has to offer. From different industries to different job roles, they really open you mind to all the opportunities present and can really inspire students.”


    Megan Cleary,

    Product Marketeer Apprentice, Signify

    What’s in it for an employer?

    Networking: The main aim for careers fairs is for us (as employers) and potential employees to network and connect. Of course, it’s a great space for us to present what makes Signify a great place to work, but it’s also a great way for students to get their names out there and leave with new professional connections and an improved understanding of different organisations and the options available.


    Brand awareness: In the case of Signify it is a great way for us to familiarise the younger generations with our new brand name. People could be misinformed and confused about what a brand does. It helps us at Signify introduce the brand and present to young aspirants on the work we do and that we are the leading lighting company globally. This helps build awareness of the brand, the work we do and what opportunities we can offer.


    At the recent careers fair at Guildford College and Yateley School, we found that having Philips Hue lightbulbs attracted students to our stand and sparked interest in who we are and what we do. We will most certainly be doing this again at the next careers fair. Likewise, bring our current apprentices and interns with us to the careers fairs is a great way to engage and attract students as hearing first-hand what it is like to be a young employee is far more relatable and interesting.

    Yateley School careers fair
    Yateley School careers fair
    Questions, questions and more questions: In person presence gives not only us at Signify, but also students, the opportunity to asks questions and maximise learning and takeaways from these events. They’re a great, more informal way, to chat and get insight into each other’s experiences and create an environment where both parties can grow. For example, we get to hear first-hand what students seek when looking for a role and the different perks that attract them most – be it the enticing office environment with a gaming area or the opportunities to interact with other colleagues in the office or the benefits on the job! Whether it be us continually learning about the younger generations wants and needs, or helping students get a deeper insight into the world of work and what stands out to them when looking for a new role, careers fairs present a great opportunity for continual learning and development.

    Careers fairs are a great way for employers and colleges to give students first-hand experience in what the world of business has to offer. Not only are they informative and educational, but they also encourage students to engage with different businesses and spark interest and offer career inspiration.”


    Plamena Shaw,

    HR Generalist, Signify UKI

    Guildford College careers fair
    Guildford College careers fair
    From the lens of a HR practitioner, I feel careers fairs are a great way for us to understand the developing needs of potential employees, which may highlight areas for focus and improvement in order to attract young, fresh talent, and retaining it too!

    About the author:

    Amelie Pateman Bren Lumsden, Head of HR, Signify UK&I

    Bren Lumsden

    Head of HR, Signify UK&I



    For further information, please contact:

    Signify UK&I PR

    Nikita Mahajan
    Tel: + 44 (0)7459751618

    About Signify


    Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals and consumers and lighting for the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact connected lighting systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. In 2022, we had sales of EUR 7.5 billion, approximately 35,000 employees and a presence in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We achieved carbon neutrality in 2020, have been in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index since our IPO for six consecutive years and were named Industry Leader in 2017, 2018 and 2019. News from Signify is located at the Newsroom, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors can be found on the Investor Relations page.

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