"One of the most important points to remember about a graduate job is that it is not simply a job, but a foundation for the rest of your career. Therefore, you need to spend considerable time researching different jobs and careers fairs play a major part in this process."
One of the most important points to remember about a graduate job is that it is not simply a job, but a foundation for the rest of your career. Therefore, you need to spend considerable time researching different jobs and careers fairs play a major part in this process.
There are a variety of careers fairs advertised around the country, which vary in terms of breadth of employers. For example, some may be focused on careers in Finance and so will have representatives from banks and accountancy firms. However, others will be more general, with employers from all different sectors and even the institutes that offer professional qualifications. Still, there will be a similar way for you to approach all careers fairs and the key is to go with an open mind and the intention to ask lots of questions.
Asking questions will help you understand what it is like doing a particular job on a daily basis. Some useful questions include asking about the company's culture, typical working hours and opportunities for progression through the grades. It is important to think about the long-term career path in case you decide to stay at the company for a large part of your working life. Also, you can find out whether the work is mostly office based or based at clients sites, as well as if there are any opportunities for international travel. Having had experience as an Exhibitor myself, I would say that they are generally happy to answer any reasonable questions to shed more light about their company.
Networking is a useful part of any careers fair and asking company representatives for business cards will ensure that you keep the person's details. Being given a business card is usually a sign that the person would like you to contact them in the future. Therefore, it is important to not push too hard to collect as many business cards as possible. A few days after the fair, it is worthwhile emailing the company's employees to make sure they remember you and so they can answer your questions more effectively. Don't leave it too long, since many people attend careers fairs and so the companies' representatives may get lots of requests.
Overall, it is important to enjoy your time at careers fairs. These experiences provide valuable opportunities to meet a variety of people working in different companies. If you enjoy one fair, you can always venture to another, which focuses on other business areas or is located in a different part of the country. The key is to gain a wide range of experience so that you can make an informed decision and choose a career that you will enjoy doing for many years down the line.