gradireland Summer Fair: Helpful hints
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 discipline, you don’t have to be an accountant. Indeed most of the companies at the gradireland Summer 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 lookout for graduates from your discipline: you might be pleasantly surprised!
Have your CV details ready
The gradireland Summer Fair 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 pre-book your slot in advance 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!
Share your virtual business card
Many exhibitors are eager to receive student business cards, as this is the best way to keep track of your contact information for further communication. Be sure to share yours with exhibitors you are interested in or have been chatting to. To do this, you will need to select the exhibitor booth you wish to send it to, then when on that booth, you would click the button ‘share my details’ and select agree to send your profile details.
Make sure you have researched the exhibitors who are attending and decide beforehand which ones you would like to talk to. Think of questions that might not be answered already on their booths or websites, see below for some examples you might consider. Many exhibitors have 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 Summer Fair is a fantastic opportunity to meet and ask questions of potential employers. Many employers also have graduates who are currently on their graduate programmes to manage 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 that 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.
Get in touch
If you have any questions about booking a stand at our fairs, please contact the gradireland team by using the contact form below.