Careers Service

Recruitment fairs

Recruitment Fairs

Fairs are a great way of meeting face-to-face with recruiters offering graduate vacancies, work experience placements or further study opportunities. Find out more about recruitment fairs and details of our upcoming fairs in this section.

Video fair guide - top tips for recruitment fairs

What to expect

Recruitment fairs usually consist of stands that you can visit, usually staffed by a recruitment team; so making a good first impression is important. They are aimed at students at all stages, not just finalists.

Interviews are not usually held at UK recruitment fairs and job or course offers are not made on the day.

Employers and course providers are unlikely to accept CVs at the fair and will usually direct you to their online recruitment instead.

How to prepare

  • Research the employers or course providers attending and decide which ones you want to visit. See Researching Employers, or Finding Courses for study providers. A list of those attending is posted on My Career beforehand.
  • Find out the basics such as opportunities available, entry requirements and skills required. This will mean you can focus on more specific points when speaking with each recruitment team.
  • Think of some questions to ask in advance – what would you like to know more about? Don’t ask something that you can easily find out on their website.
  • Keep up to date with sector news.
  • Think about the skills and experience you have so you can mention these to the employer if appropriate.
  • Bring something to make notes on.
  • Think about what you are going to wear. Dressing smartly isn’t essential but can help to make a good impression.

At the fair

  • Don’t just collect free gifts!
  • Do ask the questions you’ve prepared in advance. Find out information about an organisation that you can’t get from their website, such as: the culture; what do the staff particularly like about it; what would make you stand out in applications/interviews?
  • If one of the representatives on the stand is a recent graduate, you could ask what their experience was like in their first year and what sort of projects/work they’ve been involved in.
  • If possible, do get named contacts from organisations you are interested in.
  • Don’t go to each stand with a big group of people – the recruiter won’t be able to give you individual attention.
  • International students - don’t make work visas your first question to employers. It’s important to demonstrate your interest in their opportunities/roles and what you could bring to the company, not that you’re just looking for an employer who sponsors visas. You can then approach the subject, but be aware that some representatives may not know the answers to visa queries. See Information on working in the UK for international students.
    Find out in advance if an employer is a registered sponsor at The Home Office’s register of licensed sponsors (PDF: 2.56MB). Be aware that if an organisation is on the list it means they have previously or are currently sponsoring a migrant worker, it is not necessarily a commitment to sponsor in the future.

More help

Visit us in the Careers Service to speak to us if you need more help preparing for the fair.