Research and preparation
Imagine if you were on a blind date, and your date hadn’t even been bothered to read your profile. That’s the kind of impression we give to employers when we ask questions like “so what does your company do again?!”
Just a little preparation in advance, and you can make the employer you are talking to notice your motivation, and motivation is a big factor that all organisations are looking for in those they select. Even for internships and placements, if the person on the career fair stand is impressed, they might be able to do things like fast-tracking an application, ‘flagging’ your suitability on their system for interviewers to see or even just giving you lots of information which will help you write compelling applications.
So how do you impress? Well, you don’t need to know everything about them, and you might do more research if they’re a firm you’re really keen on. As a bare minimum, you should probably make sure you use Career Fair Plus, the official app of the Careers and Placements Fair, and all the available resources to learn what kind of work they do and what kind of jobs/internships/placements they have on offer.
If you are really keen to impress, then you’ll want to make sure you also know about their recruitment process (what stages are involved, when are the deadlines), what they’re looking for (or their selection criteria if published), what’s been the big news from the organisation over the last few months (check the press releases on their website), who are their main competitors, and what they say about themselves to stand out from the crowd (check out the ‘About us’ section of their website).
Article signed by Lucy Hawkins, Careers Consultant