Graduate Recruitment Fairs And Lots Of Free Pens

By: Anna Stenning

My first experience at a graduate recruitment fair was one of reluctance and hope. The mistake I had made was the image that a potential recruiter will notice me and offer me a job on the spot. It did not occur to me that hundreds (perhaps thousands) of other graduates were likely to attend the same event (provided they were in the same catchment area) and are most likely to be as hungry and ambitious as I was. This was my first insight into the rat race.

Finding the right career path for you can be a difficult journey. Not everybody are going to choose the same degree, some study law with the intentions of becoming a practising lawyer; however, others may study law and change their minds into choosing a completely different path altogether. Graduate recruitment fairs help a great deal into giving you the options that are available to you. Therefore, it is not just a fancy event with brightly coloured pop-up stands, but an opportunity into securing your future.

I have only attended Graduate recruitment fairs in London, but these can also take place in other places such as Leeds, Manchester, Edinburgh, Bristol and any other major cities across the country. The exhibition is usually well displayed with lots of recruiters advertising their plasma displays and pop-up stands holding plenty of resources and leaflets. Thus making it important for you to travel light and carry an extra bag, for you are sure to leave with plenty of books and application forms.

The fair itself will be buzzing with other graduates and a lot of them will try to snag a place in the front of the queue at a recruiters stall. Try to stay friendly and avoid the pushing and shoving, as sometimes this can get unfriendly. Usually the fairs are well organised, people are generally at a mutual understanding that they are all in the same boat. Of all the fairs I have visited, I have never encountered a problem.

As much as the visit will be laden with exhibition stands, banner stands and pop-up stands, it is always best to do your research and find out which companies will be represented. If there is a particular company you are keen on applying to such as KPMG, then it is always good to prepare a list of questions, find out as much as you can about the company and enquire about the position you would like to apply.

The exhibition comes big, secured and without refreshments. However, you do have the great advantage of picking up freebies such as pens, key rings, post it notes and more pens. Some recruiters' handout packs with more free pens - I have now collected twenty different personalised pens from twenty different recruiters. Take a bottle of water with you, as you will be doing a lot of walking around and be prepared to add to your stationary collection with pens.

Another thing to expect is the ever-useful CV preparation team. If you do not have a CV prepared, I suggest you have one done before you go, or approach the team into helping you devise one. This will take about 30 minutes but they usually do tend to do a good job. You will also gain advice on effective cover letter writing which is the most important part of any application process.

One final thing to expect is the opportunity to meet new people. You must be willing to talk to the recruiters, find out as much as you can about them and be confident in your approach. Do not attend a fair with false hopes, as you will be disappointed. The idea is to make contacts, find out which career path suits you and what steps to take to get you there.

Human Resources
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