"The number of jobs on offer to graduates is increasing but the market remains competitive." gradireland.com
These can include any positions that appear on any of the following:
Before the Fair
Review the list of employers attending and prioritise those you are most interested in talking to.
Register to attend through the gradireland.com website
Research the employers you are interested in
- Follow their social media, find out about their work, any upcoming projects they are involved in – this can add value to your conversation with them at the fair.
- Research their values and their vision- does it match with yours?
- Think about what additional information you’d like about the company – you can ask informed questions (see some sample below) when speaking to them at the fair.
- Being prepared will enable you to show a genuine interest in the company and to ask thoughtful and focussed questions at the fair.
It’s not just about the employers – what would you like them to know about you? Prepare a few “About me” sentences (30 seconds – 1 minute) - your career interests, your degree/course, the type of work you are interested in, your key skills/experience).
At the Fair
In person fairs can be very busy so having a plan makes it easier and less overwhelming.
- If possible, arrive early as it gets very busy as the day goes on.
- Have a list of the employers you wish to speak to, when you arrive, you’ll be given a floor plan indicating where to find each employer.
- If you are anxious about speaking to employers, it can be useful to approach an employer that you are less interested in first – this will help settle your nerves and help practise your “About Me” content and the questions you want to ask.
- Large queues can form at some employer stands, if you find this, consider moving to another employer and then coming back when the stand is less busy.
Seminars – have a look at the seminar list and schedule in time to attend any seminars of interest to you.
CV Clinic – careers advisers from many universities will be available at the fair to review your CV. The CV Clinic is always very popular so it is advisable to book your CV review slot as soon as you arrive at the fair – you can then start visiting employer stands and return to the CV Clinic at your appointment time. Bring a printed copy of your CV with you.
- I have read that (company name) is working on a project to…. Could you tell me more about that project / would graduate hires be involved in that initiative? If so, how?
- What specifically do you like about working here? What do you consider to be (company name)'s main strengths? What do you consider to be key areas for development?
- Do you recruit people for my course/subject?
- Do you offer internships or micro-internship opportunities?
- Having come through the graduate recruitment process yourself, what do you wish you’d known in advance of applying?
If you can’t make it to the fair…
You can search available jobs on Careers Connect and gradireland.com
Have a look at the list of employers attending the fair – find out more about them and their graduate opportunities from their website and their social media.
Follow the companies on the social channels at the fair – you may be able to send them questions on the day or afterwards.
CV Clinic – remember you can contact your careers advisers anytime for a CV review. You can either send your CV in a “Query” in Careers Connect and we’ll reply with feedback, or you can book an appointment in Careers Connect, upload your CV, and we’ll give you feedback at the meeting. You can also access Sample CVs and CareerSet CV Review software in the Resources tab in Careers Connect.
Find out more about Careers Connect
Login into Careers Connect here
The 'hidden job market' refers to any available employment opportunity which is not advertised publicly. Finding a job this way holds many advantages over the more obvious method of waiting for a position to appear and then applying for it. It usually means that you are not in direct competition with as many other applicants, have time to fully research the potential employer without the concern of application deadlines, and present yourself as someone who is 'keen to help'.
To access this market you will need to begin by selecting a number of potential employers. Use professional body websites, trade magazines, the Golden Pages etc to locate companies / organisations that fall into the area that you are interested in. Never underestimate the power of networking and the usefulness of telling people that you are looking for a certain type of position.
Find out as much as you can about the employer by researching them online, seeking any company literature they have published, phoning them to get further information or speaking to a supervisor in the department you are interested in working. Define what they need, and then present yourself as someone who can be be of use to them – someone who is capable, interested, qualified and skilled using your CV, cover letter, phone calls, emails or personal visit etc
Use the links below for more information on Networking and Speculative Applications
Why should I network?
Networking is a valuable tool in finding out about a particular career area and in seeking out employment opportunities in that area. It is estimated that advertised jobs are only about 25% of jobs actually available. Many employers, rather than spending money on advertising vacancies, fill available jobs through recommendations, referrals, word of mouth or from Speculative Applications.
When should I network?
Before you start networking you should have done some initial career research. You need to have worked through Discover your Career - Step 1(what you are interested in, what skills and abilities you have) and Discover your Career - Step 2 (occupational research on career areas of interest to you). You may have started building your network with Information Interviews as part of your occupational research.
How do I Network?
Say, for example, you want to find out about careers in advertising? Start with your own friends and family, do you know anyone or know of anyone who works in that area? – ask around! Maybe you don’t know anyone working directly in advertising but you know someone working in sales – they may have contacts in advertising – ask if they can put you in touch with someone they know. Now things are starting! When you talk to you new contact, ask if they can suggest someone else for you to talk to…now you’re building a network.
Networking opportunities include:
- Friends and relatives / Friends of relatives / Relatives of friends
- Tutors, lecturers
- Past teachers and past employers
- Members of clubs and societies
- People mentioned in newspapers, magazines, professional journals
- Ex-graduates from your institution - many universities now have networks of these who can help you
- Part-time work which will enhance your industry knowledge and enable you to meet people in your target career area
- Voluntary work to build experience and show your commitment – remember to be clear about what you are offering to do and for how long;
- Industry internships and keeping in touch with colleagues you met on your placement
- Professional associations, which may run networking events/conferences or useful training where you can develop new links
- Employers presentations/stands on-campus and careers fairs, speaking with representatives from many organisations in one place
- Online professional networking websites - LinkedIn is a popular example that allows you to build an online profile, widen your network and join groups within your industry
- When seeking out contacts you will need to be proactive, it takes work but is worth it. The Careers Service Employer Listings and Job-Search Resources are useful resources.
- Actively pursue contacts within your chosen industry
- Publicise your name and interests, making it easier for those in your field to approach you and suggest collaborations
- Keep in touch with people you come into contact with, i.e. friends, tutors, past colleagues and prospective employers etc.
Speculative Applications can build on your Informational Interviewing and Networking and involve submitting a CV and Cover Letter (samples in Word format available in Useful Resources - Maynooth University log-in required) to an employer and asking whether they have openings for which you are suitable.
Having done your research you will already know
about the employers - what they do, the type of roles for which you would be suitable
about yourself - what skills, abilities and experience you have and how this meets the employers needs
What do I do?
Here you can review and search graduate programmes by company, programme, subjects required.
You can use Careers Connect to search all active jobs/opportunities and to set job/career event email alerts