By Elodi Jakupi
Are you seeking the opportunity to market yourself beyond a resume? The 2020 Griffith University Careers Fair is around the corner and it is not one you will want to miss! The Griffith Careers and Employment team have worked especially hard to ensure that industry leaders all over Australia will be in attendance. Register here.
Now that you are registered, we have put together 5 golden rules to follow to have the most valuable experience at the 2020 Careers Fair.
- Comfort is key and confidence will follow.
Look good, feel good? ABSOLUTELY. The goal is to look professional while keeping comfort in mind. This is important for the ability to freely work the room. Employers need to see that you can present professionally, after all, you are a potential representative of their company. On that note, dressing to impress does not mean your bank account has to suffer, ask to borrow clothes from friends or family. If you need inspiration, check out the mood boards we have put together Career Style for Men & Career Style for Women. As mentioned above, comfort is key; if you are not well practiced in heels, opt-out and wear flats and if you’re worried about the sun, slip-slop-slap and leave your hat at home for this one.
2. Give your social platforms a makeover.
Did you know 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees? If you are unsure about your posts, our best advice is to hit that private switch. It is also a great idea to do a quick search of yourself and remove any public posts that do not depict an employable individual, think of it as a spring clean.
Aside from this, LinkedIn is one of the most popular online networking platforms, it is a great idea to join and start making connections. If you are just getting started, LinkedIn provides a profile checklist for students here. Spend some time thinking about the online persona you would like to portray, and hey, the Careers Fair is a great opportunity to get a photo and create valuable content for your first post.
3. Network like you were born for it.
Come prepared and well researched on talking points. Your research should include projects the company worked on (and the ability to discuss these), graduate programs and online application processes. In addition to researching employers, take some time to self-reflect. Gaining a holistic understanding of your strengths and values will assist you to identify companies you would like to target; this will also avoid awkward and forced interactions ( SOAR model is a great tool to assist with this).
Another great resource is Big Interview. It prepares you to answer questions you aren’t ready for, it allows you to watch yourself on video and see what employers see (assess your body language and listen out for um-and-ah’s). Sign up with your Griffith email to avoid being prompted to pay subscription fees (thanks Griffith). Lastly, it is most important to have an exit strategy, state that you would like to stay in touch and request the best point of contact (this could be a great opportunity to swap business cards or LinkedIn).
4. Mini Career Pitch.
Greet employers in a professional and polite manner, be prepared to use a handshake on the day and welcome them to the campus (you are ambassadors of the University 😉 ). Introduce yourself and have a mini career pitch prepared. This will allow you to make an effective introduction. If you haven’t practiced this, YouTube has valuable content on the 30 second elevator pitch. Be authentic and simply try to build a new friendship, this will lead to stronger connections and a true professional network.
5. On the day – Over and OUT.
Feeling nervous for your first networking event is quite normal, however, trust in your preparation process. An inexpensive way to increase your professionalism could be to create your business cards (Canva provides free templates for business cards and Vistaprint has low priced services with a built in card builder). If you are not interested in making a business card, your resume will be a great substitute. Ensure that you print off an updated copy of your resume and keep these in excellent condition (HINT: if you’re unsure if your resume is in the appropriate format, Griffith University provides a FREE online resume check).
Networking is about building relationships (not just increasing your LinkedIn connections). Make sure you follow up with employers, thanking them for their time and touch base on the conversation you had (this will allow them to easily remember you).
PSST Gold Coast Campus
The campus will be marked with arrows directing you to the fair and if you are still lost, ask one of the students on campus! (They are willing to help).