Trade fairs are great events, not only for buying or selling equipment, but also for networking and career development. Am I talking about career fairs? No, at the end of this post you´ll know why trade fairs might be better than career fairs for job starters.
I just came back from this year´s Analytica trade fair in Munich, which I am using extensively to network and expand my collaborations. I want to share my thoughts about the trade fair setting, my preparation and my strategy.
Why is a trade fair so useful for job seekers?
Going to a career fair for life scientists can be a tiring experience. A multitude of graduates overcrowds even spacious halls and leads to stress for all attendees, regardless of their role. After queuing for ages, you get to pitch to an HR manager, “Hi, I am Philipp, I graduated…” You finish with the feeling that your poor conversation partner already had to listen to similar messages many, many times that day. “Thanks a lot for your interest in our company, please submit your application via our online platform.” “Can I leave my card…?” “Not necessary, all applicants go through the same process.”
Career fairs are not pointless, they can provide lots of useful information specifically for job starters. But it´s a very difficult setting to leave a lasting impression and to gain meaningful contacts.
Trade fairs, on the other hand, are there to sell and buy goods. What are graduates doing here? Imagine the following scenario.…