Career Future

Making the most of the Grad Fair

The Grad Fair is returning to campus on Wednesday 9 May. One of the largest careers fairs in the UK, there’s lots of opportunities on offer.

Don’t think that you’ve left it too late to secure a graduate job, or there aren’t any brilliant opportunities left. Graduate schemes that are advertised in the autumn only count for a small proportion of graduate roles out there. In fact peak months for advertising graduate jobs are May, June and July. So there’s plenty of time, and you can get a head start by attending the Grad Fair.

With over 130 exhibitors at the fair it can seem somewhat overwhelming, but with a little preparation beforehand you’ll able to make the most of the fair, and utilise your time.

Do some research

Before you attend the fair have a look online at the list of exhibitors, and google them. This is your chance to see what companies are attending, what sector they work in, and the types of opportunities they are offering. Make a shortlist of the ones you would like to find out more about.

Prepare some questions

Have a few questions prepared in advance. What would you really like to know about the employer, the role? A lot of information about a company will be on their website – such as their application process, so think of some questions where the answers aren’t online. If you need some ideas for questions, have a look at our ‘what should I do at the fair’ info sheet on the Careers website.

Keep an open mind

The majority of the exhibitors at the fair will have opportunities for graduates from any degree discipline. If it’s a company you’ve heard of, or your research shows they work in a certain industry, don’t just assume they only have roles in that area. Large companies often have roles across the board, the all have HR departments and need marketing, so keep an open mind as to what might be on offer.

Also don’t dismiss recruitment companies straight away, many large organisations use recruitment companies as they have lots of opportunities that they need to fill. Check and see if they are any roles you might be interested in.

Make notes

Whether you take a pen and paper or make notes on your phone, make sure you have a way to write down what you’ve been told. You might be speaking to quite a few different exhibitors, so make note of who has said what. You’ll need to refer to it later if you decide to make an application.

Finally, pre-register for the fair. Filling out the short registration form now will save you time on the day.

And remember staff from The Careers Service are at the fair, so if you have any questions or need advice there’ll be someone there to help.