Success at the Spring Graduate Jobs and Internships Fair 2014


If you are wondering why you should attend the YGRF in a few weeks time, then look no further! In this blog post our Fair Liaison Officer, Lauren McArthur, explains how two Leeds students walked away from our Spring Fair with graduate jobs!

Spring daffodils

Building relationships face to face….not much can beat it in the world of graduate recruitment, and it’s something I like to talk about – a lot!

A graduate recruitment fair brings leading graduate employers together under one roof and allows you to quickly build rapport with each one you speak to, giving you an excellent impression of the organisation whilst highlighting your talents at the same time.

Taking a little time prior to the event to research which organisations will be attending, looking at their available opportunities and matching those to areas you are particularly interested in focusing your career planning can pay dividends.

Spring Fair success

Following the Spring Graduate Jobs and Internships Fair, I caught up with two final year students, Lewis May and Daniel Lismore who both took modules through the Careers Centre where they found out about the fair. Following this, they researched, made a plan of attack before attending and both ultimately secured graduate jobs to start later this year – who can ask for more than that?! Find out what they thought of the process and how they went about it below:

Although this was one of several careers events that Daniel had attended it was a first for Lewis. He recognised that “by February a lot of companies have already processed a lot of applications so you have to go the extra mile to attract their attention”. Lewis also explained how he did just that, and attracted the attention of Mackenzie Stuart, “showing an interest in the company and industry you are looking at is imperative, by impressing the managers who were at the fair with my knowledge and enthusiasm towards the role they were offering I was able to secure myself an interview without the need of an application process. It is all about first impressions with people who can give you the opportunity to secure a job”.

Research 

Research is essential when it comes to careers events – showing a company that you understand and take an interest in their business can prove imperative to your success. Whilst Lewis felt that it was very important to research, Daniel took a more relaxed approach, “I had a brief look at a couple of the bigger firms, I didn’t spend hours searching through the internet because the point of the fair is to learn about the companies right?!  I found it useful to have a few pre-prepared questions about the companies you are going to talk to though; it starts conversation and shows you’re interested”.

But where can you do this elusive research? Lewis used our website, Daniel preferred the company’s own websites, as “they’re always useful for historical knowledge of the company’s roots and achievements”. There are lots of different avenues that you can take whilst researching a company, for example using Twitter and LinkedIn is a great way to keep up to date with latest developments.  You can check out our previous blog post to find out how we recommend that you get the most of the Yorkshire Graduate Recruitment Fair.

Speaking to employers

Approaching employers is perhaps the most daunting part of attending a careers fair. What should I say? How should I introduce myself? Will I ask silly questions? When Lewis approached Mackenzie Stuart at the fair, he said that he “informed them I had been looking at them and the recruitment industry and said I wanted to know more about their training programme compared to their competitor Sagar Wright, who were also at the fair”. Asking a company to compare themselves to a competitor could be a really good way to find out the best aspects of working for them, as well as finding out vital information to choose between them.

Remember to keep your options open – neither Lewis, nor Daniel had considered recruitment as a career before they started to research the Spring Fair, with Lewis saying, “recruitment was a good match for my skills set and it’s exciting to know that every day presents the opportunity to place a big client and be rewarded for it.” Daniel was also attracted by the fact that recruitment is an incentive driven sector, saying: “the nature of the job, being incentive driven and client orientated was what initially led me towards executive recruitment, but after I had decided that it was all about the company for me.”

So Lewis and Daniel attended our Spring Graduate Jobs and Internships Fair and came out of it with graduate jobs. If that’s not a good enough reason to go to the YGRF, then I don’t know what is!

Come to the YGRF!

It’s now only 3 weeks until the Yorkshire Graduate Recruitment Fair, where there will be over 100 graduate employers looking to speak to you about their opportunities.  As Daniel and Lewis have both pointed out, taking a bit of time to research a fair and prior to attending on the day can prove to be one of the most important moves you make with regards your career and your future.

The Yorkshire Fair website is now up and running, make sure you visit it to book your place and keep checking to see an updated exhibitor list plus additional information on what is available on the day.

I’d love to hear from you as well – have you had a particularly good conversation with a graduate recruiter at a careers fair?  Did you secure a graduate job?!  Get in touch and let me know – a success as big as that is worth sharing.

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Filed under Advice, Develop your employability, Networking

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