Employers hire graduates from any discipline. So don’t pigeon-hole potential employers – IT companies need marketing, finance and language graduates; accountancy firms recruit from any disciplines, you don’t have to be an accountant. Indeed most of the companies at the gradireland Graduate Careers Fair recruit from a number of disciplines, so don’t walk on by their stands – get in there and ask them if they are on the look-out for graduates from your discipline: you might be pleasantly surprised!
Use the Jobs Walls
There will be several Jobs Walls within the hall at the gradireland Graduate Careers Fair, showcasing live jobs from a number of sectors. These will have numerous graduate schemes and opportunities listed, so bring a notepad and pen or 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 making applications!
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 advisers from various Universities providing 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 advisers to write your CV for you – they are there to review and advise but you’ll have to do the hard work first yourself! There will also be CV seminars throughout the day.
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, see below for some examples you might consider. Many exhibitors bring recent graduates now working in their business to their stands, so ask them what life is really like in that company. And 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!
5 questions to ask a potential employer
The gradireland 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 stand, so you can ask them what life inside these 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 beat the competition to land your perfect graduate job.
1: 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 too-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 no but you are keen to work for that employer or in that sector, ask about any conversion courses that you might take that they have successfully hired from.
2: What are the most important competencies you look for in graduates during the selection process?
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.
3: What would my first year in your organisation be like?
This question allows the recruiter to talk about your induction, training and development, opportunities for travel, and any promotion opportunities for high performing graduates. 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.
4: Tell me the single most important thing you would advise any graduate considering applying for a role with your organisation to do!
Not strictly a question, but if you can get the answer then you have the inside track which could give you that all-important edge over your competition throughout the selection process.
5: Do you have internship programmes and how can I get on them?
gradireland research shows that over 86% 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. 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.