Job Fairs – how to get started

The aim of today’s blog is to help you get started at a careers fair. Careers fairs are the perfect opportunity for you to approach employers and make a great first impression. Before you even go to the fair there a few things you should do:

  1. Research the fair thoroughly as well as the employers exhibiting at the fairs before you go.
  2. Dress to impress, a first impression is key.
  3. Plan your visit: who will be there, where are they located in the venue, create a timetable of employer visits for yourself.
  4. Research your target companies, understand what they have to offer you in terms of jobs and who they have hired previously (LinkedIn).
  5. Prepare some intelligent questions for the recruiters at the fair, don’t ask the same questions as everyone else, be original.


Many international students in the UK focus upon the most visible opportunities with the major multinationals. This segment of the market as you can see from the picture is only a small part of the job market. Graduate training programmes can be very competitive for instance you can be competing with 5000 applicants for 10 positions. There is a large segment of the UK Graduate Job Market that is untapped. Don’t be drawn in by the big names, Standout, think outside the box and see what other employers out there in the same sector/field have to offer. UK Graduate Job Market


Careers fairs are a great opportunity for you to explore visa sponsorship or international openings in various organisations under one roof.  It is a great opportunity to:

  • Find out MORE about the company – current projects, specialisms, values, roles, progression, travel, sideways moves and flexibility.
  • Opportunities – ways in, other ways in, selection criteria, what they enjoy, hardest part of selection.

Other Ways in: Check out


On the Day

Make a positive first impression, dress for the job you want and bring a copy of your CV with you – BE PREPARED!

First approach –   “Good afternoon, nice to meet you. Please could you tell me what your company does?”

Make sure this is not your first question “What are the opportunities for international students?”. The standard response from recruiters is – “accept all applicants, judge on merit, then find most suitable way”. Do not take this at face value do your research and check what the company has done before? If they have taken international applicants in the past? Have they got experience with visas, have they ever taken a PSW visa, you can also check if they are on the sponsor register yourself.

Stay in touch…. with international opportunities University of Manchester International Students Careers Group – on Facebook! Weibo Careers Account


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