Networking is an essential element of successful career planning and job seeking. We make this easier for you by arranging hundreds of on-campus events every year; nearly 200 this semester alone! These include recruitment fairs – both large, and faculty-specific – employer presentations and workshops, and workshops delivered as part of our central programme. With our main Autumn jobs & internships fair just around the corner (Monday 15th October, The Edge), we’ve asked Leeds Economics student Tom Staley to share his reflections on the benefits of attending such events, below.
In addition to Tom’s advice, if you are planning on attending a recruitment fair, do your research first! Plan which organisations you wish to speak to and the questions you want to ask; think over and above what is on their website – you should already have looked through such information. As Tom points out, this is your opportunity to speak to someone who works for the organisation face to face; make the most of it, treat it as you would an interview, and you never know where it might lead! You can see which organisations are attending on Monday here.
Attending Recruitment Fairs and Employer Presentations: How they can aid your career
– Tom Staley
With huge amounts of information available on the internet I questioned why I would need to attend a recruitment fair or employer presentation. A lot of people had said they’re a waste of time and more often than not they occur on a day where you may be feeling a little bit worse for wear from the night before – BUT I soon found that these events had a lot to offer me and my career…
Such an event is a great way to get to know the people you could be working for.
I found that the person who a company chooses to represent themselves is a great indication as to what sort of a company you could be working for. By attending I gave myself the opportunity to ask; could I see myself working with these people? Is it a company that instils such values in its staff right for me? – and they’re all important questions to be asking when considering your career path.
An opportunity to ask in depth questions
Meeting employers face to face gave me the chance to ask the questions I wanted to ask. Generally there will be a representative who has come through, or is currently going through, one of the companies work experience or graduate programmes. This provided a fantastic opportunity for me to speak with them face to face and find out all the details of the programme – is it really how they advertise it on their website? Is it really the best thing since sliced bread?
The opportunity to network
After a little while at University you’ll soon realise that networking will be key to the progression of your career. Considering the current economic climate it is apparent that now so more than ever it is about WHO rather than what you know. It is obvious that you must be switched on and extremely competent to gain a position within a company but make sure you give yourself every opportunity to get your foot in the door. From attending the recruitment fairs and employer presentations I realised that such events provided me with a fantastic opportunity to do so.
The presence of Alumni
A lot of the time companies choose to send Alumni to such events. This allowed me to understand exactly what they got involved in at the University in order to aid their application. This provided me with extremely useful information with regard to what resources they used and what exactly the University has to offer. I also found that it helped to identify what skill sets I need to develop and which clubs/societies within the University are best placed to provide me with these.
There are a multitude of different reasons for you to attend the next recruitment fair or employer presentation but most of all it is important to bear in mind that the University would not put on such events if they were not beneficial for those who attend them…