It's Fair time! Are you ready?

We are bringing over 150 recruiting employers onto campus in just 3 days: 15th, 16th, 17th October 2018. Head over to the Octagon on Monday to find placement & graduate job opportunities suitable for all degree subjects, Tuesday is focused on all things STEM and it’s all about the Law on Wednesday.

Monday 15th October 2018

Meet recruiting employers with placement and graduate jobs at this event.

Monday is for everyone, with opportunities for students from all subject areas in: marketing; retail; finance, accountancy and banking; HR; business and management; public sector; teaching; charities and more.

Tuesday 16th October 2018

Tuesday is focused on all things STEM, with opportunities in: engineering; technology; maths and physical sciences. Meet over 60 recruiting organisations.

Wednesday 17th October 2018

Launch your legal career here! Meet over 50 recruiting organisations and find out about professional legal studies, training contracts, vacation schemes, insight days and graduate jobs.

Your Careers Fair App

Download your Careers Fair App to view a list of the employers attending with an overview that will help you to find out more about them. You'll also find a selection of filters that will help you to refine your search.

To make it easier on the day you can star employers that sound of interest to you, make notes or jot down key questions that you would like to ask, and even mark them as visited when you have spoken to them on the day.

You will also be able to view the fair map in advance so that you know who is located where.

Download the app from Apple and Google Play Stores; search for Careers Fair Plus.

Making the most of the Fairs.

It’s easy to walk into a careers fair and feel completely overwhelmed by the number of employers in front of you, but did you know that employers are feeling this way too?

The reality of careers fairs is that employers are on the hunt for the best possible candidate for their organisation, just as much as you are hoping to stand out from the crowd.

Read below for top tips from employer Softcat, or watch our animation on how to network like a pro. It will help you to make the most of the day, and stand out to employers.

1. Planning and preparation

It may sound boring, but thinking a little ahead will allow you to save time on the day and head straight for the employers that interest you most.

  • Find out who is attending and make a note of the employers that you would like to know more about.
  • Do a little research, if an employer has a vacancy or scheme that interests you then visit the ‘Careers’ page of their website and find out specific information relating to the role. You might even start an online application - you don't need to finish it, but it will give you an idea of the kind of information that the employer expects.
The advantage of coming to a careers fair is that you can clarify exactly what an employer is looking for before submitting your application.

2. Question time

Employers don't expect you to know everything about them, but knowing a little may get you a long way and asking them relevant questions will definitely help you to stick in their mind.
Create a list of specific, interesting questions for each employer that you want to meet. Try and be creative and don’t ask the obvious. Take inspiration from their social media feeds, current news page or from recent projects that they have been involved with: who are their main competitors, who do they work with, what are the current hot topics?

Asking questions may also result in them asking some questions of you so be prepared; they may ask you:

  • Why are you interested in our company?
  • What do you know about the industry we operate in?
  • What skills and qualities could you bring to our team?
  • What kind of role would be a good fit for you?

3. Update your CV

Employers don’t collect these on the day so what’s the point? By updating your CV you’re reminding yourself of all the skills and experiences that you have to offer. It is also worth taking a copy with you; if you’re stumped for any questions that a recruiter asks you, you have a ready-made crib sheet listing your skills!
Try and prepare a small pitch about yourself that summarises the skills and experiences that you want to get across to employers; capture their interest in what you could offer to them.

4. Attitude and attire

You don’t need to be suited and booted but do make an effort – a smart appearance combined with a good attitude is a really strong starting point. Make eye contact, be friendly and convey your interest in the company whilst demonstrating your relevant abilities. Believe it or not, simply looking smart and presenting yourself well will be enough to make you stand out from the majority.

5. Make notes and follow them up

You’ll be meeting several recruiters, so make a note of any you want to pursue further, along with their contact details.

If they offer you business cards or handouts, make your notes on the back of these so you remember whom you talked to about what. 

You can also use Your Career Fair App to make a note against an employer so that all your information is readily available when you next need it.

After the careers fair make a point of dropping these recruiters an email, letting them know you enjoyed talking to them and thanking them for their time – most people don’t bother so again this will help you to stand out.

Information for International students

Working in the UK

All EEA and Swiss national students can work in the UK. If you are Croatian you may need to apply for permission before you can work in the UK after your studies. If you are not from one of these countries the government has a number of schemes and programmes that are appropriate for most international students. All of the schemes are points-based, i.e. you must score a minimum number of points (as specified by the Home Office) in order to apply.

Tier 2 Sponsored Skilled Workers route

Employer sponsored visas (Tier 2 visas) are currently the most common way for UK employers to hire international graduates who need permission to work in the UK.
The Tier 2 Scheme specifies that:

  • You must have a job offer from an employer before your student visa expires (the length of your course plus 4 months). The employer must be a registered sponsor and the job must be a graduate-level job.
  • The employer must ensure that they will be paying the specified minimum salary levels as detailed in the ‘Occupation Codes of Practice’ published by the UKBA on their website, before they issue a Certificate of Sponsorship. Information on the salary levels is available on the UKCISA website and on the Home Office website. In addition you must be paid at least £20,800.
  • You must meet the relevant individual requirements.
  • Positive features
  • There is not a cap on numbers. Graduates who are moving from a valid Tier 4 visa to a Tier 2 visa within the UK are not subject to any quota on numbers of certificates, so employers can recruit as many international students as they wish.
  • Recruitment is not subject to the ‘resident labour market test’ (i.e. employers won’t have to show that they are unable to find a suitable UK/EU applicant before considering international students).
  • Tier 2 registered employers will be able to recruit the best students/graduates from around the world, without restriction.

There is a list of companies and organisations that are licensed as sponsors on the Home Office website.

We have also produced a leaflet called 'Employers who may recruit International students to work in the UK' which may help you when deciding where to target your applications.

Other routes
  • A person may be entitled to work in the UK for reasons that relate to ancestry, relationship, or length of time already in the UK.
  • PhD and other doctoral level students can apply for a 12 month visa extension under Tier 4 to look for skilled work in the UK either on an employed or self-employed basis. You will need to be sponsored by the University to apply under this scheme. For further information and advice on the Doctoral Extension scheme please see the Student Advice Centre
  • If you are interested in a period of work experience in the UK before returning home then the Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange - GAE) could be of relevance to you. This may be required work experience for training related to your professional registration e.g. architecture students etc, or for more general purposes. The visa is organised through an approved GAE sponsor on behalf of employers. The post must be a skilled role and ‘super-numerary’ (i.e. not a vacant job). It must pay above the level of the national minimum wage, and the postholder must leave the UK on completion. The maximum period is 24 months for training and 12 months for general work experience, but some schemes are 6 months.

We explain more about Tier 5 and some of the main sponsors in our Tier 5 leaflet

There is also information on the Government website

Which employers are recruiting under Tier 2

Only companies who are licensed as sponsors and are on the Register of Sponsors can currently sponsor a graduate. We have asked all the companies coming to the Fair if they are on the register and this in indicated in the Fair Guide that you’ll receive on the day. (Don’t forget, a company can apply to become a sponsor at any time. It will cost them to do so but if a company likes a particular student and wants to recruit them, then they may be prepared to do so.)

If an employer is a Tier 2 sponsor then that means they will definitely accept applications from International Students?

Unfortunately it isn’t always as simple as that! Some graduate recruiters are not fully up to speed with the latest visa regulations and some think it is harder to employ international students than it actually is. (We are doing a lot to explain the regulations to employers). Others may not be able to because the salaries don’t reach the minimum requirements. We have asked all the organisations coming to the Fair if they do recruit international students and this information is displayed at the bottom of every company profile.

For further information see

Home Office


Sheffield Students' Union

Our advice for international students is:

  • Check out who offers the type of work you are looking for.
  • Prepare to meet with employers, think about what you will say and how you can be as professional as possible.
  • Approach the companies that say they definitely recruit international students.
  • Then go to those who are Tier 2 sponsors. Ensure that you understand the regulations yourself – maybe you can help inform the employer that they can recruit you (as long as the salary reaches the minimum required).
  • Then visit those who aren’t Tier 2 sponsors, maybe if they like you and think you could have a lot to offer their company, they might be prepared to become a sponsor.
  • If they don't offer opportunities under Tier 2 you could enquire if they are able to recruit international students for periods of work under Tier 5.

Please note- this information is a guide only, the Careers Service are not Immigration experts. You should always check out your situation with the Student Union Advice Centre and the Home office