Careers fairs are a chance for students and graduates to explore the world of employment, consider options for their future careers and meet potential employers. Schools and universities hold them, usually in a big hall or conference space, to help students evaluate their next step after school, college or university.

Employers have a stall with information about career paths within their business. They might be promoting a particular graduate scheme, volunteering opportunity or just raising awareness of their company. Businesses bring plenty of information with them in the form of leaflets and booklets for students to take home and use to decide their future options.

Careers fairs are a great way to meet businesses that you otherwise may never have come across. As the fair has been curated for you by somebody else, it is guaranteed that you will find opportunities and companies that you wouldn’t have considered during your research. It’s a great way to push yourself out of your comfort zone and deliberate new career routes.

Many students begin university with a job or career path in mind, but by the time they have reached their final year have an entirely different set of skills and interests. For example, you may have started a geography degree thinking you want to go into geology, but now are much more interested in the human side of geography. In this case, you could attend a careers fair and have a look for any businesses that relate to international aid, city-planning or tourism. They are a great way to get a feel for what kind of jobs and careers are available before you make any lasting decisions, such as postgraduate study.

Graduating from university can be an extremely daunting time; with the stability of education taken away, it’s challenging to try and make decisions about your career. That’s why it’s a good idea to be as prepared as possible for this time. It’s okay to be unsure about your future, and not have a graduate career path in mind. Still, the more information you have about what jobs are out there, the better chance you’ll have of finding a job you enjoy.

Consider attending one of the many careers fairs held by your university before you graduate. It is one of the best ways to prepare yourself for the post-university period. If you have already graduated, get in touch with the careers service at the university you studied with, they will likely have plenty of careers support available for alumni

For more help with careers fairs visit our guides: Why attend a careers fair and How to find opportunities at a careers fair.