Finding the right job can be daunting for most people. If you need help finding the right path or simply to explore your options, job fairs offer excellent opportunities.
The importance and benefits of job fairs
Also known as career expos, career fairs, and recruitment fairs, job fairs are a great way to get yourself in front of top employers and give your job search the edge. Each year they’re hosted all over the UK, setting an excellent opportunity for both graduates and job hunters to explore possibilities and find the right opportunities.
Job fairs are like speed dating for recruitment, offering networking options, insights from industry experts on the latest job vacancies and valuable experience with initial onsite interviews. Most job fairs are free, however, you might need to sign up in advance to secure your place.
Standing out in a positive way is no easy task. When you’re competing with hundreds of other job seekers, it’s crucial to show up prepared, and know how to distinguish yourself from the crowd. A good way to accomplish that is to dress for success, look smart and professional as you would for a job interview. In addition to that, make sure you bring along copies of your resume, a pen and paper for taking notes, and business cards (if you have them).
So, if you are interested in reaping the benefits that job fairs have to offer, here’s our Autumn/Winter guide on the different types and upcoming events.
Types of job fairs
College/university job fairs: Typically held on university campuses throughout the year – especially during autumn – they set an excellent opportunity for students and graduates to network with potential employers. College/university job fairs can be generalised or focus on specific areas such as law, engineering, and business and are typically independently organised by each university.
Online job fairs: A relatively new entrant – also known as a virtual career fair – is the online version of a traditional job fair, which has gained popularity since 2005. This method, powered by specialised websites, provides an online platform for employers and job seekers to connect and discuss job opportunities.
Community job fairs: These are typically sponsored by the city they are held in. Normally, a wide range of employers attends offering information on different positions from sales to IT. Due to the number of companies taking part in such job fairs, it’s useful for attendees to create a target list in advance in order to make sure they use their time wisely and make the most out of it.
Industry-specific career fairs: These fairs aim to target a particular industry such as retail, nursing or engineering. Being well-prepared as an attendee is the key for such fairs in order to stand out, as they might offer a very targeted audience of employers. Remember, everyone else attending is there for the exact same positions so you’ll be under direct competition.
Professional job fairs: Such fairs include a range of occupations, from sales and business management to accounting and programming. They normally attract a wide audience; hence you must make sure, you market yourself as a prime candidate.
Depending on the types of fairs you are interested in, times and locations will differ. For instance, each university hosts their own job fair so you’ll need to make sure you regularly check for updates on their website. In regards to professional job fairs, the UK Careers Fair provides a networking platform for both candidates and employers in 50+ locations throughout the UK. Most of the events take place on Wednesdays and Fridays throughout each month between 10am to 2pm. Finally, here is a list for set dates on upcoming job fairs throughout the remainder of 2019:
17th – 18th September 2019: Nursing careers and jobs fair 2019 – London
3rd October 2019: Aviation Jobs Fair – Gatwick
11th – 12th October 2019: What Career Live? What University Live? – London
5th November 2019: Nursing careers and jobs fair 2019 – Leicester
21st – 23rd November 2019: WorldSkills LIVE – NEC Birmingham
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