So you went along to one of more of the careers fairs on campus. Hopefully, you had a chat with some of the employers and took the chance to find out more about them and the opportunities they offer. You probably also bagged a freebie or two along the way. All very nice, but what do you do now?
Start applying? Well, yes, but there are other lessons to learn from the fairs experience, that will help strengthen your applications.
1) Research the employers you spoke with
The more you know about an organisation, the better. It’ll help you decide whether it’s the company for you and you’ll be better equipped and more knowledgeable when making applications.
- Company websites are a good starting point, but search business news as well, to find out about them in the context of their sectors.
- Many companies have a presence on social media, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter. These will give you another insight into an organisation’s culture.
- Have a look at The Job Crowd’s website, which surveys employees to rate their companies on issues, such as work/life balance and career progression.
2) Track down employee profiles
These usually give you a more human perspective, with information about what it’s like to work for a certain organisation.
- Lots of company websites feature profiles of their graduate trainees. Careers publications, like TargetJobs, Prospects, Inside Careers, also have these features in their directories and on their websites.
- Search the York profiles page on the Careers You can search by job sector, which means you may come across other similar employers worth investigating.
- Use social media, like LinkedIn to search for graduates working for particular organisations.
3) Make the most of contacts made at the fairs
The prospects of ‘networking’ can cause some trepidation among job seekers, but it is a great way of finding out more and making useful contacts.
- If you got individual representatives’ contact details, are there any further questions you’d like to ask them?
- Check to see if a company is coming back onto campus to give a presentation – see the Term events page or Careers Gateway for details. This is another opportunity to make contacts and ask questions the company website might not answer.
Now comes the tricky bit – making an application, which shows your experience, skills and strengths, not to mention your enthusiasm and commitment!
- Take a look at our web resources about making application and writing CVs/covering letters to understand the principles behind successful applications.
- Book a CV/application review appointment to get feedback before you apply.
The truth is, researching companies and making strong applications takes time and effort, but is worth it when you get that job.