5 Questions to ask a potential employer at the Graduate Careers Fair

The Graduate Careers Fair is a fantastic opportunity to meet and ask questions of potential employers. Many employers also bring graduates who are currently on their graduate programmes to attend their stands, so you can ask what life working with this companies is really like! These conversations are unbelievable opportunities for networking, and can help you decide on future career paths or give you that nugget of ‘insider information’ that can help you through the application and interview process and ensure that you best the competition to land your dream graduate job.

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We have put together some questions to have prepared to ask employers on the day of the Graduate Careers Fair:

How many graduates do you take on each year and do you employ graduates from courses like mine?

This question helps determine whether or not it is worth asking the next questions! It’s important to ascertain that an employer is hiring, or that they will be doing so in the not tooo distant future. Equally it’s good to know if the employer has successfully hired graduates with a similar background to you – this question can get the conversation off on a positive foot, or end it nice and early. If the answer is a no but you are keep to work for that employer or in that sector, ask about any conversion courses that you could take that they have successfully hired from.

What are the most important competencies you look for in graduates during the selection process?

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All employers have criteria they look for when hiring. Some are quite defined, others relate to that elusive ‘fit’. Discover the answers to this question and, if you decide to apply, present your application in a way which showcases your corresponding attributes.

What would my first year in your organisation be like?

This question will prompt the recruiter to talk about their induction programme, training and development, opportunities for travel and any promotion opportunities for high-performing graduates within their company. gradireland research has shown that these are the most significant factors for students and graduates when considering which employer they would most like to work for.

Tell me the single most important thing you would advise any graduate considering applying for a role with your organisation to do!

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Not strictly a question, but if you get the answer then you have the inside track which could give you that all-important edge over competition throughout the selection process.

And for non-Finalists

Do you have an internship programme and how can I get on it?

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gradireland research shows that  over 79% of graduate recruiters run internship programmes, and that the recruiters themselves see completing a relevant internship as the single most useful thing a graduate can do to improve their employability. It’s a great way to find out about a company, a sector of work and of course to land a graduate job further down the line.

Find out more about Ireland’s Official Graduate Careers Fair here.


4 things you didn’t know about this year’s Graduate Careers Fair

It’s less than two weeks away from the most anticipated event in the gradireland events calendar, the 14th annual Graduate Careers Fair. This event will see 120 of Ireland’s leading graduate employers, start-up companies and further study providers showcasing what they have to offer in a range of different sectors. Ahead of this event we have put together a list of four things that you probably didn’t know about Ireland’s Official Graduate Careers Fair.

Top employers will be there-it’s all about jobs!

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We have over 100 of Ireland’s leading employers attending this year’s Graduate Careers Fair. The exhibitor list to date is made up of 58 of the Irish Times Top 1000 companies as well as 15 international Fortune 500 companies! The best part, all of these organisations are actively recruiting for students and graduates in a range of sectors, there are interviews happening on the day itself, so come prepared!

CV Advice to beat all other

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Have you hit the wall when it comes to getting your CV or application ready to send to employers? Worry not! The Graduate Careers Fair has not only a dedicated CV Clinic with over 50 hours of free careers advice but also a rolling CV Seminar with specialised advice for both international and Irish students. This is the perfect opportunity to perfect your CV and get ahead of the competition.

Opportunities with NGOs

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Ever considered working as part of a non-for-profit organisation? We are excited to announce that this year’s Graduate Careers Fair will welcome some nationally and internationally established NGOs, including Oxfam Ireland and The Peter McVerry Trust . Chat to representatives about any opportunities available with these organisations.

Introducing Start-Up City

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Not sure if you want to go down the traditional career route or apply for a graduate programme? This year’s gradireland Graduate Careers Fair will host our very first Start-Up Zone, which will see some of Ireland’s emerging tech talent exhibiting. Pop over to Start-Up City at the Graduate Careers Fair and find out what it’s like to be part of a high growth, fast paced start up team! Exhibitors include Gamex, Huggnote, Aromatrix and many more.

So there you have it! Four things that you might not have known about the Graduate Careers Fair, all the more reason to register now and we’ll see you in the RDS on October 5th.

Register for free entry at www.graduatecareersfair.com

We are looking forward to seeing you there!

 


5 Reasons why you should enter the Higher Education Awards

You might be weighing up the pros and cons of spending the time to enter the gradireland Higher Education Awards but it’s definitely time well spent and we’ve put together five reasons why it makes sense to enter.

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  1.       Marketing & PR

Awards may not spring to mind when thinking about marketing opportunities but just being short-listed can greatly enhance the awareness of your course and your institution as a progressive place to study. Being associated with awards can provide great PR opportunities to be recognised both nationally and internationally. Awards celebrate hard work and success and it is a great opportunity to put your course in the spotlight.

  1.     Third Party Endorsement

Winning an award or even being short-listed can act as a third party endorsement for your course and institution. Having your course judged and endorsed by an independent panel of respected leaders gives your institution increased credibility. Receiving an award acknowledges your excellence in a category and provides a distinct competitive advantage over rivals.

  1.  The Process –for now and for the future.

The application process will not only allow you to identify your successes but it can also highlight some areas that may need improvement when comparing yourself to the competition. Submitting an entry to the Higher Education Awards is also a good opportunity to really promote what your College or University does really well and also show how and where you’re looking to progress your institution in the near future.

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  1.      Building team morale

Succeeding requires a team effort and an award gives recognition to your lecturers and department heads, recognising the invaluable contribution they make to your institution. This is invaluable in terms of boosting morale and bringing your team to the awards ceremony is a great way of celebrating your achievements as a team and also provides great networking opportunities.

  1.       Competitive Advantage

Winning an award not only provides a great sense of achievement, it also provides a competitive advantage going forward for your school or department, in terms of attracting new students and driving applications to a course. It can provide that distinguishing factor in a crowded marketplace and best of all, these awards are FREE to enter!

To find out more about the inaugural Higher Education Awards contact Ailbhe Lee on 01-6451500 or email ailbhe.lee@gradireland.com . Further details available at www.highereducationawards.com


Guest blog: Irish Feet Touchdown in España

Ever wonder what it is like to teach in a foreign country? Check out this blog by Sarah G. about life as a teacher in Spain with Meddeas.

A small fish in a big pond is how I’d describe the initial shock I felt in January of this year when I came to teach in Spain as a language assistant.

On mid week Wednesday mornings, when it’s almost 8:45am, before you finally get the courage to get out of bed, it’s arriving at school and one of the children from my one year old class coming up to me saying “Hello Sara” -instead of the usual “Hola”-, that makes teaching worthwhile; or when a three year old boy comes up to me and says “¿Cómo se dice ‘te quiero’ en inglés?” and then proceeds to spend the day telling every man woman and child “I love you”.

Those are the moments that make me want to do this forever and those are the moments that make me already apprehensive about leaving! The same three-year-old also melted my heart with love for him on February 14th of this year, Día de San Valentín, when he came up to me with a ring and said “Quieres ser mi novia?” (Do you want to be my girlfriend?).

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This experience abroad to date has been incredible and I regret nothing: I am learning more Spanish working with kids and living with a Spanish family than I ever would in University. Why? Well it’s difficult to explain. I’m completely immersed: my family speak English quite well but apart from the conversations I have with Javier (eight year old host brother), I tend to speak Spanish for the majority of the time I spend in the family home. Every day I’m learning new words and phrases. Every day there is something different to eat, something with a new difficult-to-pronounce name: “Gazpacho”“Albondigas” (meatballs),  “Pulpo a la gallega” to name but a few. With every new dish that’s placed before me is a new word to learn, so by eating (a favourite pass time of mine), I’m learning too!

Initially, coming to teach in Spain I knew I was going to find out so much about the culture and the food and the language, which was one of the reasons why I felt theMeddeas programme of staying with a family was ideal: you have no choice but to immerse yourself in everything that is España. I knew that the life of the people in Jerez would be different to that of what I had been used to in Spain. I don’t think it’s possible to live in Jerez without being constantly reminded of “caballos”“tinto”and, of course, bull fighting!

The initial feeling I received in school was fame. You would think children, from one to five years old, that a pale-skinned ginger-haired girl from Ireland would scare them, that they’d take awhile to get used to you. This is not the case, the more you stand out the more they like you. Clearly, I can never be mistaken for Spanish. Constantly, I have kids hanging out of me “¿Me toca? ¿Puedo ir contigo? Señora Sara, Señora Sara, Señora Sara” (Is it my turn? Can I come with you? Miss Sarah, Miss Sarah, Miss Sarah) , most days I love it! (Note: Most days). Within my first week, I had marriage proposals and invitations to birthday parties. I was both humbled and overwhelmed by the welcoming I received from the children in my school.

But the experience is not all that rosy rosy rosy: teaching children who have limited English at such a young age is difficult. I wanted nothing more than to be swallowed alive half way through my first class with the 3 year-olds. I constantly have to remind myself to breathe. My three and four year-olds are the most difficult to teach as their attention spans are short and their need for movement is quite substantial. Surprisingly, facial expressions, tone of voice and lots and lots of pictures can keep the one year-olds entertained for the duration of the class quite easily. Side note: Do not say/do anything you don’t want the children to repeat. If you say “Touch your head” and, while you are waiting for the children to do it themselves, you get an itchy nose so you scratch it, your nose will forever be your head in their eyes!

Both Meddeas and the teachers in my school have been amazing. I really have got two families here in Jerez: one with my host family and the other in my school. I’m growing so much as an individual. I love the independence that Jerez has offered; it’s been an incredible experience so far. I can’t comprehend the fact that I arrived to teach in Spain almost two months ago.If someone could please slow down time that would be “estupendo”, I really don’t want to leave!

Meddeas are currently recruiting for teachers in Spain, find out more here.


6 ways to make the most out of the Graduate Careers Fair

Careers fairs are an amazing opportunity for students, graduates and young professionals to get the ‘inside scoop’ of a company, find out the opportunities they have available as well as the disciplines that they are interested in hiring in.

Preparation is key when it comes to careers fair, so we have put together some helpful tips for the day of the fair:

Use the Jobs Wall

There will be several jobs walls within the hall at the gradireland Graduate Careers Fair. These will have live graduate schemes and opportunities listed, use your phone and take a photo of any that you are interested in applying to – then go home, find the job, internship or graduate programme on gradireland.com and start applying!

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Bring your CV

Many employers are happy to receive CVs at Careers Fairs. In addition, at the gradireland Graduate Careers Fair we will be running a specialist CV Clinic, hosted by careers advisors from your University providing over 50 hours of specialist advice, at which you can have your CV reviewed. However, a word of caution – the CV clinic has a limited number of slots and gets booked up very quickly, so get there early to book your appointment and don’t expect the advisors to write your CV for you – they are there to review and advise but you’ll have to do the hard work first yourself!

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Research

Make sure you have researched the exhibitors who are attending and decide beforehand which ones you would like to talk to. Think of questions which might not be answered already in brochures or on their websites. Many exhibitors bring recent graduates now working in their business to their stands, so ask them what life is really like in that company.

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Attend the Seminars

Make sure you attend one or more of the specialist careers seminars – they are designed to give you the edge when it comes to applications and interviews! From Assessment Centres to Interview advice there is a seminar to benefit everyone.

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Download the gradireland Events App

The brand new gradireland events app is your personal assistant for the Graduate Careers Fair. You can create a profile, directly contact employers, personalise your seminar schedule and much more! Download it from the App Store or Google Play now.

More information about the event can be found at www.graduatecareersfair.com


Not in final year? Four things that you may get the answer to by attending the Graduate Careers Fair

It’s not unusual for students who are not yet in final year to be unsure about attending the Graduate Careers Fair. You lucky souls are still out there enjoying college life and may not have thought a lot about careers or the future.  Well here are a few of the questions that you may get an answer to by attending this year’s Graduate Careers Fair:

Do I know what Career Path I would like to pursue?

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This is one of the biggest, if not the biggest decision you will have to make before leaving college. There is so much to take into account, including the area you would like to work in, job prospects, the companies that are recruiting in your field, the locations of these companies and salary expectations. It is very difficult to find credible answers to these questions without speaking to the employers in person.

Over 120 employers are attending this year’s Graduate Career Fairfrom over 20 different sectors, with headquarters all around Ireland and Europe. This is the ultimate opportunity to meet these employers and ask them the essential questions you need to know, to get a better understanding of what it is you would like to do.

What do I need to get a job?

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Putting together all the documents you need to land your dream job can be very daunting. Every employer has different criteria they look for when recruiting graduates, this requires tailoring your CV and cover Letter to each job you may apply to. CV Clinics are being held at the Graduate Career Fair with experts from Careers Services throughout Ireland. These experts will provide you with the advice you need to get that dream job! Keep in mind that many Graduate Programmes open for applications in September each year, meeting these CV Experts could put you ahead of the competition for next year’s applications.

Am I interested in doing an internship?

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Internships are amazing opportunities to gain experience in a particular job or to find out about the culture of a particular company. Employers also take this essential experience into account when recruiting graduates, giving your CV an edge to get a job. Many of the employers attending the Graduate Careers Fair recruit students for internships and work placements. This is a great opportunity to network with these employers to see what internship opportunities they may have.

Am I thinking of doing a postgraduate course, in Ireland, the UK or beyond?

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Finding the perfect postgraduate course to suit you is really important, whether in Ireland or the UK.  gradireland are hosting seminars  with industry experts at this year’s Graduate Careers Fair to discuss postgraduate studies. There is also a Further Study Zone on the day with more than twenty exhibitors, offering a wide range of postgraduate options and information.

The Graduate Careers Fairs has something for everyone, whether final year or first year. Register for free entry today at graduatecareersfair.com


5 Reasons you should attend the Graduate Careers Fair

Ireland’s Official Graduate Careers Fair is taking place on Wednesday 5th October 2016 in the RDS Simmonscourt. This event is your opportunity to meet leading employers, course providers, careers advisors and find out all the opportunities available to you!

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Still not convinced? We have put together five reasons why you should attend Ireland’s largest graduate careers event!

It’s Ireland’s Official and Best* Graduate Careers Fair

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Whether you are job hunting, want to find out more about further study or simply career curious about all the opportunities available to you, the Graduate Careers Fair has everything you need. Also did we mention that the Graduate Careers Fair *won best exhibition in the national Event Industry Awards 2016?

Face to face interaction with leading employers

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This is your chance to make a great first impression with over 120 of Ireland’s top employers, who are all actively recruiting students, graduates and young professionals in a whole range of disciplines. Make a list of the exhibitors you would like to speak to, bring along your CV and get networking; this is your time to shine!

A killer seminar schedule

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This year we have really outdone ourselves when it comes to our seminar schedule. Whether it’s advice about writing the perfect CV or cover letter, employability skills or top interview tips and hints, we have something for you! Check out the full list of seminars on our website.

CV Clinic

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So you have had a list of employers that you may be interested in applying to put together. Now you have to create the perfect CV and cover letter to show off all your experience and skills. The Graduate Careers Fair will host a CV clinic, providing more than 50 hours of expert advice from career professionals – but make sure to get there early to secure your spot as the CV clinic fills up really quickly!

Your one stop shop for job hunting and advice

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In final year? Be smart with your time- meet all the key people, find invaluable information and discover all the different opportunities available to you all in one day under one roof! Best of all – it’s completely free to attend by registering at graduatecareersfair.com

See you there🙂