Massey University CareerplaNZ

Career and student learning issues brought to you by Massey University’s Careers Service – New Zealand

All’s Fair…

Posted by John Ross on February 24, 2009

In job search – particularly at the present time – creativity is the key.  Many, many job opportunities will never make it into the press or into the cyber-space of internet vacancy sites.  Networking with an ever-developing list of contacts will be vital but what about careers fairs and expos?

Even in the gloomy times of today, these events will still take place.  They may be smaller than we’ve seen for a while, and may be used to profile a reduced number and range of jobs, but they’re still well worth considering.   A good place to start will be any that are organised by NZ university career services.  If you’re a student or recent graduate of one of these universities, any Fairs and Expos planned are likely to be being publicised now – through the ‘NZ Universities Career Hub’ system.

You’ll see that the vast majority take place in the first six months of the calendar year and that some are general (open to any discipline) and that others are sector-specific (e.g. business and finance; engineering etc).  Most will be targeted at final-year students and recent graduates and will be profiling opportunities for full-time work.  That being said, students from other years should consider attending – there may well be details of internships and vacation work on offer.

One event worth a specific note is the Virtual Career Fair that’s taking place on-line from 23rd March until 9th April this year.  This is “an annual online careers event where tertiary students and graduates, and graduate employers can connect from anywhere in Australia and New Zealand”.  You’ll find much more detailed information on this event by visiting its site now but, in short, it will offer:

  • a searchable database of employers and employer profiles and a job search facility
  • direct web links to exhibitors’ recruitment websites and application areas
  • real-time online chat rooms which provide a forum for exhibitors and students to speak directly to one another – students can even access the VCF chat timetable and select sessions of interest via Facebook!
  • the VCF Pod Centre, which contains downloadable podcasts with employer interviews and video clips
  • resources to support students’ job search activities
  • interactive facilities for students, such as the very popular Interview Quiz and daily Mini-Surveys
  • participation prizes which are awarded to students to encourage active involvement.

The usefulness of Careers Fairs and Expos for you will, to a large extent, depend upon what you’re looking for.  However, how prepared you are to make the most of them will also have a key part to play.  More on this in a later blog post.


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