Your chance to meet employers on campus

Guest blog written by Giang Nguyen, YUSU Academic Officer

I was once amazed when a recruiter told me that you will improve your chance of getting a job if you meet their employers. It is true. It is very true. By meeting the current employee or their recruitment team, you will be able to gauge valuable information that is not even included on their website. The upcoming Grad Jobs and Placements Fair and Technology Fair has a lot of employers! 

Here are 3 tips on how to make the best out of your Careers Fair: 

1 – Go to the right careers fair and meet the right employers: 

Please don’t end up in the wrong fair… Please don’t spend too much time with the ‘wrong’ employers that you don’t want to work with them. It is always a good preparation to have a close look at the list of the exhibitors and research what they do, when their recruitment season is, and what are their company values. Although It is easy to only look into the employers you know, you will miss out on other big employers that you have never heard of, or employers that might suit you better. 

Employers will endeavour to bring the employees who have graduated from York, so grab this opportunity and network with them! 

2 – Ask the right questions and network in the right way: 

In my attempt to ask the right questions, I always remind myself the employers are also people. That means they will have stories about their life, their motivation, their strengths and weaknesses, their aspiration and feeling. By asking those questions, I find myself being able to build a more authentic picture of the employers and is also helpful for my application process (hint: including those authentic notes in your cover letter and interview could be helpful!). 

Secondly, networking is not as ‘corporate-y’ as it sounds if you apply the mindset I mentioned above. The employers probably will ask you about what attracts you to a particular role, what experience/skills you have, and how much you know about the sector/industry. If employers organise workshop and seminars before and after the fair, that is an excellent opportunity for you to be remembered, and a good excuse to send a LinkedIn message to say hi afterwards. 

3 – Final tips, what to dress, and what to bring: 

Since employers will attempt to wear formal clothes to the fair, if you want to create a good impression, formal clothes is always the right choice. Employers are also impressed if you have a firm handshake and a positive outlook as well! Bring some paper and a pen – you don’t want to forget the information and the people you talked to. Just in case you will be asked, a copy of your CV can be helpful. In the fair last year, an employer even helped me with my CV because I was applying for their firm and needed some suggestions. 

And finally, do collect freebies. But don’t make it as your sole mission in the fair! 

Hope you enjoy the fair! 

The views expressed in guest blogs are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Careers and Placements.