Networking – Getting the Mostest from a Recruitment Fair

Mark Cumisky, Career & Skills Consultant at UCD, gives some advice on the best way to tackle a recruitment fair:


Students chatting to employers

Recruitment Fairs are great. They are full of interesting people, often wearing primary colours, who are trying to give you free stuff. Pens, writing pads, chocolate, stress-balls, travel coffee mugs, lollipops, key-rings, tee-shirts, even hoodies on occasion. You will not have to buy a pen all year – truly a cornucopia of freebies! Oh, and they are looking to hire you either as a graduate or for a summer internship next year. Pretty cool!

But the place is packed, jam-packed. With other students. And the layout feels non-intuitive. The staff at the stands look like they’re fed up explaining who their organisation is for the umpteenth time. And they do this at almost every university (and lots of ITs). So, is it worthwhile to go? Can I really make myself stand out and impress them?
YES! YES, really.
How?

  • Login to Careers Connect with your UCD Connect details and find the fair under events to see a list of the organisations who will be attending. You can then note down the ones that you want to approach, aka the ones you want to work for, and make a list.
  • Use the web and research the organisations in detail – check out the careers section of their website, esp. the part on the role that you want, and also their general corporate site.
  • Use sites like gradireland, Prospects, and Vault to research the profession and learn what’s involved in the roles you want.
  • Make a list of questions that you want answered – not those that you can answer from their website, obvs.
  • Develop a pitch about yourself – why you want to work for them, why you are studying your course, where you see yourself going in the future. An elevator pitch that tells potential employers both who you are and what you can do for them.
  • Talk to a career and skills consultant before the fair, book an appointment and discuss your strategy.
  • Smile and relax. Hard, I know, but remember that the employers are here to see you – that’s why they came, they want this conversation, and the better the conversation the more impressed they’ll be with you.
  • Follow-up. Send a thank you note or a copy of your CV afterwards – whatever you promised, do it.
  • And enjoy – at the very least the pens are useful.

For more see this video from Career Player.

For more tips and hints, why not call into us at the UCD Career Development Open Day being held this Wednesday September 23rd!

CDC Open Day 2015
CDC Open Day 2015

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