Contacting employers

You were at the Careers fairs

What next?

Written by Lucy Hawkins, Careers Consultant

The main Careers Fair alone was attended by over 2,800 students, so there’s a good chance that you’ve been to one of our events.

In case you’re wondering, here’s what we suggest you do next.

If you attended one of the fairs this term:

  • If you were given a card or an email from someone you spoke to, follow up these conversations! Send an introductory email to say thank you for their advice and update them on your job hunt.
  • Ensure you look at the website of any company that caught your fancy to check closing dates and get any tips for your applications. Companies are often pretty generous with their guidance – they know what they are looking for and want you to succeed.

Whether or not you came to the Careers Fair:

  • If you’re still figuring out what job options appeal to you, try browsing the Guardian 300 or Times Top 100 to get a feel for what appeals most (and least!). You might spot some trends that can help. For example, you might be keen on working with numbers and finance but don’t fancy working in a bank or a big accountancy firm; in this case, you’ll be happy to discover that that largest global business, consumer goods or clothing companies have financial roles too. Not getting anywhere? Make an appointment with a Careers Consultant at the Career Centre to talk further.
  • Start all applications as early as possible and make sure you’re writing to address the selection criteria for the role. Recruiters can tell when applicants have worked hard on an application and when it’s the same one 50 other companies have seen.
  • Make an appointment with a Careers Consultant at the Career Centre if you need to shape up your CV and cover letter for your applications.
  • Make sure you read the website carefully to understand what competencies you should highlight and do your research on the company and the industry. None of this hard work will go to waste as you’ll be more prepared for an interview.

Don’t fancy anything you see at the moment?

  • We estimate that the big ‘graduate schemes’ are about 10% of the graduate labour market, so there’s plenty more out there! So why can’t you see the rest of it now?!
    • It costs money to advertise on TargetJobs; some organisations just list jobs on their own website instead and get a smaller number of very motivated applicants.
    • Some industries have specific job boards they post their vacancies on – check out our guides to ‘exploring different industries.
    • Only a few organisations know now that they’ll definitely want to hire a graduate next summer – save a search on MyJobsOnline and get alerts when jobs get released as the year goes on.
    • Some opportunities don’t advertise at all and rely on proactive ‘speculative applications from keen individuals. Check out an organisations’ website and if there’s nothing on offer get in touch and ask them if they can let you know of any opportunities that might emerge.
  • So keep going – and if you’re getting stuck, make an appointment with a Careers Consultant to talk things through.