What next? As a recent graduate, that is a question you will have to ask yourself. There are so many options to pursue and everyone is different – some students may know exactly what they want to do after graduation, others may have a vague idea but be unsure about how to go about it and still more may not know at all. The first thing to remember is that this completely normal – no one expects you to have all the answers about what you’re going to do for the rest of your life the moment you graduate.

However, attending job and career fairs is an excellent place to start. These events are designed to introduce you to employers, help you explore alternative options like apprenticeships and work on your employability. You can begin to attend careers fairs before you graduate to get an idea of what is out there, and we have put together a hand guide to some of the ones taking place in Birmingham this year.

Birmingham Careers Fair

15 March
Novotel Birmingham Centre Hotel

The Birmingham Careers Fair is a free event offering candidates from all backgrounds, experience and education level the opportunity to meet with a variety of local employers. It is a chance to ask questions and interact with people from lots of different companies in different sectors face to face. The UK Careers Fair website suggests a few ways to stand out at the event, including introducing yourself, asking questions and bringing copies of your CV with you. Talking to other candidates can also be helpful as they may share some of your interests or ambitions. The event runs from 10 am to 2 pm and you do not need to register in advance; you can find out more here.

Birmingham Job Fair

17 May, 1 August and 1 November
Council House

This event takes place on three separate occasions in 2019 but all in the same venue, Birmingham’s Council House in the city centre. There are usually between 25 and 35 companies exhibiting with between 500 and 900 candidates visiting each time. A range of different industries and sectors are represented, and people of all ages are welcome, from school leavers right up to experienced adults looking for a new opportunity. There are several advantages to attending an event like this, including the chance to distribute CVs, get some face time in with local employers, meet fellow candidates and apply directly for jobs without having to go through a lengthy online process. Details of the event, which runs from 10am to 2pm, can be found here.

National Graduate Recruitment Exhibition

31 October – 1 November
NEC, Birmingham

The exhibition sees some of the top employers of the region gather to scout out, and recruit, candidates for available job roles at their organisations. This will include CEOs, HR managers, trainers, consultants and recruiters from a range of different sectors such as IT, management, research, lifestyle, finance, electronic trading and data configuration. There are between 100 and 500 exhibitors to choose from but luckily this free event runs from 10am to 6pm, so you should have plenty of time to browse the stalls and introduce yourself to the right people. You can find out more about it here.

If you want more information about studying at Ulster University’s London or Birmingham campuses, visit our website.