How to get the most from graduate careers fairsPosted: September 22, 2011
If you’re starting your final year, it’s not too soon to begin job-hunting. And help could be on your doorstep: university careers services have strong links with employers and one of the ways that they bring recruiters and students together is at graduate recruitment fairs. Many institutions hold their own fair on campus; others work in partnership with us on the gradireland Graduate Careers Fair, which takes place this year in the RDS, Dublin on 12 October.
So what’s the best way to maximise your attendance at a graduate careers fair?
Prepare in advance
Make sure you have researched the exhibitors who are attending (for example, you can check the list on www.graduatecareersfair.com) and decide beforehand which ones you would like to talk to. Think of questions that might not be answered already in brochures or on their websites.
Bring your CV
Many employers are happy to receive CVs at careers fairs. At the gradireland Graduate Careers Fair we will be running a specialist CV Clinic, hosted by third-level careers advisers, at which you can have your CV reviewed. However, a word of caution – the CV Clinic has a limited number of time slots and gets booked up very quickly, so get there early to book your appointment. And don’t expect the advisers to write one for you. They are there to review and advise: you’ll have to do the hard work first yourself!
Learn from the experts
Many exhibitors bring recent graduates now working in their business to their stands, so ask them what life is really like in that company. And if the fair includes specialist careers seminars, make sure you attend one or more to benefit from the expert advice on offer.
Look for jobs for all disciplines
It is important to remember that many of the bigger companies recruit graduates from all disciplines. So don’t pigeon-hole potential employers – IT companies need marketing, finance and language graduates; accountancy firms recruit from all disciplines, so you don’t have to be an accountancy graduate. Many companies at graduate careers fairs will recruit from a number of disciplines, so don’t walk on by their stands. Get in there and ask them if they are on the look-out for graduates from your discipline: you might be pleasantly surprised!