Graduate fairs can be busy, intimidating and generally scary, however, they are an ideal opportunity for you to start networking with possible graduate employers, to learn a bit more about the graduate recruitment process and most importantly build up your confidence in professional situations.
First off- what is a graduate fair? It is basically a very busy hall filled with potential employers- in graduate jobs and placements or internships, professional bodies, and educational establishments offering post graduate study information. Therefore, the best thing you can do before you go is prepare! Have a think about what you want to get out of it.
– Check out the website to see what companies are attending
– Follow the hashtag if there is one
– Research any companies you have a particular interest in
– Think up some good (well informed) questions
– Prepare your CV and take plenty of copies with you
While you are there be polite, enthusiastic, take your time to have a walk round and find out where the companies you want to talk to are situated. Use this opportunity wisely! It is a very valuable networking opportunity and a chance for you to make a good impression on recruiters and learn about opportunities. Ask questions, take notes, be prepared to talk about yourself and the skills you have that are relevant to the company- not about how drunk you were at the weekend! Relax and enjoy the experience.
In the days following the fair take the chance to make connections and reinforce possible networks- social media is an ideal way of doing this. Connect with people on Linkedin, follow people on twitter- make sure your own profile sells you as best it can and keep it professional at all times!! Start to identify 10-15 companies that you want to target, find out about their recruitment process and take note of the closing dates for applications. Then all you have to do is work on making your application forms and CV’s the best they can be!! Come and see us in the Careers and Employability Service and we can help you along the way, and make sure you are making the best applications possible, giving you the best chance of getting that all important first graduate job.