Here’s why you simply must attend a careers fair

abbyFinal Year, First Year, Graduates, Postgraduate, Second Year

Our virtual careers fairs are coming up, and boy, we’re excited about it. We’ve got more fantastic companies attending than you could shake a stick at. We’re talking GSK, Morrisons, MI5, Network Rail, BAE Systems, BT, EY, Rolls-Royce, Virgin Media, Aldi, HM Treasury, Müller, PwC and more.

If you’ve not yet got the dates in your diary, we’re hoping to change that with 6 reasons why you simply must attend a careers fair.

Before we get into it, grab your pen because here are the dates:

STEM Fair
Thursday 22nd October | 10am-4pm

Business Fair
Tuesday 27th October | 10am-4pm

You could secure a placement or graduate opportunity
If you’re looking for a placement or graduate role, we’re literally giving you the opportunity to speak to employers who are recruiting for these exact things. They’ll be there, you’ll be there… it’s a chance for you to dazzle them with your winning personality and keen interest in the organisation. Now, we’re not saying you’ll be offered a job on the spot (though wouldn’t that be great?), but if you make a good impression, who knows, maybe you’d get fast-tracked.

It could open your mind to new and exciting opportunities that you hadn’t previously considered
One of the things our students have said after attending our careers fairs, is that it’s made them consider things that they hadn’t previously thought of. Let’s say you’re passionate about a career in Human Resources. Contracts, criminal record checks, eligibility to work, pay spine, statutory sick pay – you love it all. But then let’s say you go to a careers fair and you get chatting with someone who works in management. All of a sudden, you find yourself thinking “Ooh, management. Training and development. Now that sounds like a boatload of fun.” Attending fairs and speaking to people gives you the opportunity to explore new ideas. Take it.

You could develop your networking skills
Networking. Do you shudder at the thought of it? Probably. Networking requires us to take a step out of our warm, cosy, comfort zone, but you know what? It’s totally worth it, for two reasons. Number one: It’s really useful to build industry connections. Knowing people in the sector you’re interested in working in could pay dividends when it comes to recruitment and finding out if that industry is one you could see yourself working in. Number two: The more we do things that are uncomfortable, the better we become at them. Being able to speak to people is a highly valuable skill, so take the opportunity to practise. It’ll come in handy in job interviews, during group projects, even making small talk at your Uncle Bill’s wedding.

You could speak to employers from across the country without leaving your home
It’s not every day you get the chance to have a chat with leading organisations from across the UK, is it? Especially in 2020. The chances of you bumping into someone from Virgin Media while you’re on your socially-distanced walk in the park are pretty slim*. Even if you’re not sure what you want to do on your placement year or after you graduate, take this opportunity to speak to employers. Find out more about them. See if you could imagine yourself working there in the future. There’s no pressure in these 1-2-1 meetings, it’s just a chat.

*Unless the park is on Richard Branson’s private island.

You could get inside information on how different companies will be doing their recruitment
Recruitment these days is bonkers.Sure, the need to submit CVs, cover letters and/or applications won’t have changed much. But after that stage, is it a telephone interview? A Zoom interview? An in-person interview? A test? A virtual assessment centre? There’s only so much you can find out online. If you’re planning on applying for a role at a company who’s attending one of the fairs, come along and ask the employers what their recruitment cycle looks like.

You can find out what it’s like to work at a company, from someone who works there!
Sometimes in life, you’ll form an idea of what it’s like to work at a certain company. Look at Mondelēz, for example. Mondelēz are the company behind the likes of Cadbury’s, Oreo, Milka and Toblerone. So you could be forgiven for thinking double-stuffed Oreos are provided for meetings, everyone wears the trademark Cadbury’s purple, and there’s a chocolate lake running through the office. Speaking to people who actually work somewhere is the best way to find out what it’s like, and if you’d fit in. 

Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels