Wisdom Wednesday: Why you should go to the Careers Fair

spring careers fairWhat are you doing between 10.30 and 3.30 on Wednesday 18th of March, 2015? If the answer is not saving lives, emigrating to Australia or winning the job interview for your dream career, then you should be heading to Student Central for our latest Careers Fair to plan your future after graduation.

Never been to a careers fair before? Don’t worry – the concept couldn’t be simpler. Over 70 employers, on campus, ready to speak to you about the opportunities they have to offer University of Bradford students.


“So…why should I bother?”

Well, there are several answers to this question. Here are our top three:

1)     To become aware of your graduate options
Whether you’re a graduate, final year student or still in the middle of your studies, a careers fair is way to speak to companies who you may be interested in working for, in person and all in one place. You will get to see how they market themselves, their ethos and ultimately whether you could work for them (and whether they are likely to want you). You can compare, contrast, shop around and simply have a chat – you may even become aware of opportunities you never knew existed!

2)     To research your career
Research… that’s what the internet is for, right? Well, yes and no. The internet can be a great initial source of information, and we certainly recommend checking out our website to find out who you can speak to. But there is life offline, too! At our Careers Fair, rather than trawling around websites, getting frustrated when you can’t find the right information and receiving impersonal answers to your enquiries as listed on online FAQ pages, you can have a chat to real workers, and get answers to your personal questions in real time. This is your chance to interview your potential employer!

3)     To market yourself
The Careers Fair is not a one-way channel of communication. Sure, you’re going to the fair to find a job, but exhibitors are there because they are looking for good people to work with. Make the right impression by being prepared, and who knows where it may lead? You can do this by looking presentable (full-on business dress is not essential, but aim for smart-casual as a minimum), doing some research (look at the company’s website to prepare your questions – this is one situation where being a know-it-all might just impress!) and have an up-to-date CV ready (why not come in to Career Development Services for advice on your CV?). Follow up your conversations via email for extra impact.

“Ok, sounds like sound advice. But I’m not in my final year. Is it really relevant?”
You’ve probably heard that it’s never too early to start planning what you want to do after graduation. If you speak to employers and find out what experience they expect you to have when you apply, you’ll be in a great position to gain that in the time that’s left before you graduate.

Also, employers won’t just have graduate jobs on offer – they’ll also have a range of work experience and placement opportunities. So whatever year you are in, it’s a great opportunity for you plan your career.

“But I don’t want to work in Bradford after I graduate…”
That’s no issue. Nationally-renown companies offering a wide range of options, within and outwith Yorkshire, will be present to advertise their opportunities.

“But I’m an international student. I’m not sure if I’m eligible to apply to any of the companies.”
It’s OK, we’ve got you covered. As part of the fair we are running a workshop for International Students about working post-study and visas.

“I’m a poor student, is this event expensive?”
No – it’s totally free. Rumour has it some of the employers may even have some freebies going… need some free pens? How about some boiled sweets? This might just be the place to go.

“I have so many assignments and exams on. I don’t know if I have time to attend an all-day event.”
You don’t need to come all day. Just call in any time between 10.30-3.30, in the Student Central building, to speak to employers. If you’re in a hurry, you can quickly locate the employers that you need to speak to via our handy map. You can even just pop in on your way to study in the library!

“Sounds like I don’t have an excuse then… in fact, it sounds like a pretty good deal. What do I need to do?”
The answer couldn’t be simpler – just turn up! There is no need to book – although we do recommend that you come smartly dressed and with copies of your CV to hand.

“I have questions which aren’t answered here or on the website. What can I do?”
Just give the Career Development Services on 01274 234991, and we’ll do our best to help you. Unless you’re too busy saving lives, emigrating to Australia, or securing your dream job, of course…