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Making the most of the Graduate Careers Festival// 9.10.13

How do you turn a one day careers festival into a job?  Diane Appleton from the University of Liverpool’s Careers and Employability Service explained all at a seminar at today’s Graduate Careers Festival!  LSRadio went down there to find out what she had to say.

                      

She explained how important it is to plan your day effectively – what do you want to get out of it? Employers say it’s crucial to come and TALK to them – don’t just pick up a leaflet and walk away!  Remember many of those on stands at the festival are recent graduates themselves – so don’t be afraid!

It’s vital to research companies you’re interested in before you approach them though.  The answers to 99% of the questions employers get asked can be found on their website or in brochures, so applicants need to ask relevant questions that they can’t get the answers to elsewhere.

Many of those attending today’s fair are hoping to get those all-important contacts, so it’s important to be proactive and get the name of the person you’re speaking to so you can include it on applications, CVs or covering letters.  Increasingly employers are closing applications before the dates they’ve announced, so get your applications in early.

Appleton explained how the University of Liverpool’s careers service works with former students up to five years after they’ve graduated, and there are plenty of evening courses available to help graduates boost their skills.  More and more employers are coming onto campus to meet potential applicants, and current students are encouraged to make the most of the careers service.

The use of social media was another key theme of today’s seminar.  Employers love students who use blogs and sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn for networking – by turning your CV into a LinkedIn profile, it’s possible to make new contacts at the click of a button.  Graduates need to show employers that they can use social media in a professional way.

Many graduates who are looking for a job will email lots of companies and ask for work experience.  But all too often, they don’t even get a reply.  Remember, don’t ask for the world – show you’re enthusiastic about what they’re doing and ask for a quick chat to come and talk to them about it.  It’s possible to turn something with no vacancy into something which might provide you with the contacts or experience you need.

Most importantly, even if you know which career path you want to go down, make sure you have a backup plan.  Appleton compared it to the London Underground map – it looks complicated, and you might have to make lots of stops and changes, but if you persist, you’ll get to where you want. 

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