It's a time for receiving - receiving careers advice. The Graduate Fair could help you get started

Are you a second-year student at university, unsure about your career path but don't know what to do about it? Maybe you're in your final year or have already graduated and haven't found a job yet. Don't worry, there are literally thousands of jobs available from over 90 exhibitors at The Graduate Fair, London.

The Fair boasts an excellent range of exhibitors within the following sectors: Finance and Accountancy, Science and Engineering, Retail, Alternative Options, Further Study, Professional Associations, Public Sector, Sales and Marketing to name a few. As well as the usual suspects in graduate recruitment, there will be a range of new companies looking to recruit.

The big crowd-pullers are exhibiting, offering many jobs for ambitious graduates. The Civil Service Fast Stream is looking to fill around 450 vacancies. As one of the largest employers in the UK it offers graduates the opportunity to be challenged from the start and could culminate in a job abroad. Nearly everyone has heard of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the "world's largest professional services organisation". It has a huge number of vacancies - 900 to be exact - and offers over 20 different professional qualifications. A must if you're looking for a challenge and a well-paid first (or second) graduate job.

So who are the new kids on the block in graduate recruitment? The London Development Agency (LDA) is London's business-led economic development agency. It is looking for five placement students to gain work experience in their field of expertise. Also in the capital, Transport for London is looking for graduates to fill various roles. The phone company Orange seeks graduates from a range of disciplines to fill programmes in Technical, Marketing, Human Resources and Customer Services.

If you're ambitious and looking to make your mark in a finance job, you may wish to visit the Centrica stand. Centrica is a FTSE 100 company and is behind some of the UK's most familiar brands including the AA, British Gas and One.Tel. Centrica offers "more opportunities, more experiences and more responsibilities across more businesses". It wishes to employ 50 graduates in General Finance and General Management schemes nationwide.

One notable newcomer, Diageo, is offering inspiring careers working with the "biggest brands in the business" such as Guinness, Baileys, Gordons and Bells. Sound interesting? It is also looking graduates with any degree discipline for a range of opportunities. Although the Fair is held in London the companies exhibiting aren't always looking for graduates to work in the capital; for example, Diageo is looking for graduates to work in UK-wide locations.

So, contrary to popular belief, jobs are out there for graduates, and not purely through online applications. The press has suggested a downturn in recruitment in finance and accountancy, but this is not so for graduate recruitment. Many banks are recruiting, such as The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, HSBC and Barclays plc. Accountancy firms are also well represented; Accountancy Additions, a financial recruitment consultancy, offers graduates variety that comes from working with small to major companies. Professional Associations in this sector are also in abundance with ACCA, CIMA, CIPFA and The Chartered Institute of Taxation looking to train graduates for their respective qualifications.

ULCS Science and Engineering Recruitment Fair will run alongside The Graduate Fair and offers students and graduates the chance to get a job in this specialist, niche area. Atkins the engineering company has 250 vacancies within a range of areas. The Centre for Formulation Engineering at the University of Birmingham has EPSRC funding available for 50 Engineering Doctorate students over the next five years. DML runs Europe's largest marine engineering complex and is offering 30 graduates the chance to work in the design and construction of, amongst other things, Warships and Super-yachts. It's not all engineering though. The Food Standards Agency are looking for graduates with any science degree to work in the implementation of science-based policy.

But how are you going to impress this fantastic range of exhibitors? You really need to be clued up about what is going on in the graduate market and to do this you need to be aware of the latest news in your sector. Why not attend one of the 18 Employer Seminars that will run over the two days of the Fair. ULCS careers advisers have also arranged a fantastic seminar programme on topics ranging from "Getting into the Visual Arts", "How to Play the Interview Game" and "Changing Direction".

New for this year are the Occupational and Information seminars. Come along and hear an employee of The Independent newspaper talk about a "Career in Journalism". Ferguson Snell will advise international students at the Fair, with a seminar entitled "Immigration to the UK - Work Permit Arrangements for Foreign Nationals".

There are also two workshops per day, which students can sign up for on each day of the Fair. The workshops will be looking at "Assessment Centres" and "How to Improve Your Interview Technique" and are run by our expert careers advisers. Each workshop costs £5 and will be invaluable when you get out of university and need to use the skills for real.

Maybe the above leaves you feeling a little freaked out and wanting to forget about your career for a year, experience some different cultures and get some good "life experience" for your CV. If so, there is still a reason to attend The Graduate Fair, London. The "Alternative Options" area has specialist exhibitors who offer volunteering experiences for graduates. These include Frontier, Students Partnership Worldwide, Jesuit Volunteer Community, Work & Travel Company, Teaching & Projects Abroad and more. Imago will also hold a seminar named "Another World is Possible: Careers unltd - thinking outside of the box" to fit in with this area of the Fair.

The Fair also features a light-hearted quiz on each day, where graduates can test their knowledge of the graduate employment market with a chance to win goodies from Diageo. The Fair is free to attend, but we recommend that you pre-register to gain early entrance. The event runs from 1pm-7pm Wednesday 3 December and 11am-5pm Thursday 4 December. Check out the website to pre-register and for further information.

Meredith Pollock, Marketing Services (Fairs) Acting Manager

10 things to do at the Fair

1. Collect freebies from exhibitors to give to your relatives as Christmas presents

2. Buy the Fair catalogue for £1.50

3. Go to a free seminar to improve your job prospects

4. Attend a workshop that will give you essential employability skills for less than the price of two vodka and Cokes in a London bar

5. After the Fair, go Christmas shopping in Angel

6. Collect a free copy of The Independent newspaper

7. Take part in the Graduate Quiz and win alcohol-related prizes

8. Visit the cyber cafe and update your CV

9. Go to the ULCS Central Stand and join ULCS Email Alert

10. Speak to employers and get that job, placement or year out sorted before Christmas!

The Graduate Fair, London

"The ideal place to shop for a career"

3-4 December 2003, Business Design Centre, London N1

For more information visit

Accountancy Additions
AEA Technology
Aldi GmbH & Co KG
Arcadia Group Limited
The Army
Barclays plc
Camps International
Cancer Research UK
Canterbury Christ Church University College
Centrica plc
The Chartered Institute of Taxation
Civil Service Fast Stream Programme
Clyde Marine Training Ltd
dunnhumby limited
Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
EURES (European Employment Services)
Fast Track Teaching
Food Standards Agency
Government Statistical Service
Graduate Prospects
Greggs plc
Hobsons plc
HSBC Bank plc
The Independent
Institute of Education, University of London
Institute of Logistics & Transport
International TEFL Certificate
Jesuit Volunteer Community
Just IT Training
KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnerships)
Lidl UK GmbH
London Borough of Waltham Forest
London Development Agency
London Fire Brigade
London Metropolitan University
Majestic Wine Warehouses Ltd
National Audit Office
National Express Group
National Graduate Development Programme
New Horizons
New Scientist
Raleigh International
Real World
Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force - Engineering
Royal & Sun Alliance
Royal Bank of Scotland
Royal Mail Group plc
Royal Navy & Royal Marines
Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd
Science Magazine
Shell Livewire
Somerfield Stores Ltd
Students Partnership Worldwide
St Mary's College
Teacher Training Agency
Teaching & Projects Abroad
Tesco Stores Ltd
Transport for London
Travel Inn
Trayport Computers Limited
University of Birmingham
University of Salford
Warner Music UK Ltd
Work & Travel Company