May 9, 2014, by Beth Dawson
Explore your options: make our Graduate Jobs Fair work for you!
Careers fairs are for people that know what career they want to go into, aren’t they? Won’t employers only want to speak to people with their CV on hand?
If you don’t know what you want to do after university, you may think that our Graduate Jobs Fair on 9 June isn’t for you, which couldn’t be further from the truth. The fair is a great opportunity to explore your options, get careers advice and be inspired by employers. So how can you make the most of it?
Before the fair
- Pack the essentials: you might not be ready to hand out your CV, but that’s no reason to arrive empty handed! Make sure you take a pen, to make notes next to employer profiles in your fair guide, and extra paper so that you don’t forget information, hints and tips.
- Think smart, dress smart: but remember the fair isn’t an interview. Employers aren’t expecting you to be in business wear, although you still want to make a good impression. So don’t let your clothing overshadow your personality – put the crop top or t-shirt with a risky slogan back in the wardrobe!
- Find out who’s coming: if you’re researching your options, you’re going to want to talk to lots of companies. However, you may not have the chance to talk to all the employers in as much detail as you would like. Look at the list of employers on our website and, if a company interests you, be sure to visit them at the start of your day.
At the fair
- Be open-minded: don’t disregard companies based on what industry they’re part of. Many companies have a diverse range of roles. For example, a large engineering firm may have opportunities in their public relations or marketing teams.
- Get advice: why not talk through your options with a careers adviser? They’ll be on hand throughout the day and will be able to direct you to stands of interest and recommend resources to use after the fair.
- Ask the right questions: make sure you’re getting the most out of each employer you speak to. It might be interesting to hear about specific opportunities, but may not be the most useful information to help you explore career options. Some questions you might want to put to representatives include, what kind of people do you work with and what kind of people do you look for when hiring? What’s a normal day like in your job? What do you like most about your role? How did you get into this sector?
- Speak to alumni: look out for the pink mortarboard symbol in your fair guide. This means that a Nottingham alumni is representing this company. They will have been in a similar situation to you and may even have taken a similar course, so ask them how they got into their job or decided to follow that career path.
After the fair
- Find companies online: if a company interested you, follow them on Twitter and LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, you may even be able to connect with the person you spoke to at the fair. By following a company, you can find out more about what it’s like to work there and ask questions to further your careers research.
- Talk through your career plans: if a company or individual has inspired you to look into a career or sector in more detail, book an appointment with a careers adviser. They can provide information about how to get into professions and suggest how you can further increase your understanding.
- Look through all those leaflets you’re given: throwing away information is a common mistake people make after fairs. It’s worth putting an hour or so aside, while your fair experience is fresh in your mind, to look through what you have been given. These leaflets and brochures may contain information that wasn’t mentioned to you in person and can inform your career ideas.
Now you’ve got our top tips for making the most of our Graduate Jobs Fair, find out more about who’s attending, workshops and event details on our webpage. Also, we will be posting the latest fair news on our Twitter and Facebook pages, connect with us to keep up to date. If you’re still unsure about whether the Graduate Jobs Fair is for you, see our reasons to attend.