So, we’re now entering that virtual world predicted by films like the ‘Matrix’ and ‘Ready Player One’ – and although we’re not fully there yet, most of our interactions are now via screens. With this in mind, it’s important to think about how you can make the best impression and get the most out of each meeting and event you decide to attend.
We’re all used to Instagram, Facebook and TikTok where we can glamorise our existence, but that’s not necessarily the best approach to use when starting your career planning. After all, authenticity is one of the key attributes employers look for and one that helps both you and them ensure you’re a great match.
- Research. Who do you want to speak to? This will help you prepare intelligent questions targeted at the companies you’re interested in. It will also help you focus on those who align with your aspirations and values.
- See what else is going on. Many employers will have setup virtual insights, presentations or open house events that you can register for directly on their websites.
- Register in advance. Complete all the profile data that’s required. This is what employers look at when deciding who they want to speak to. Make sure it’s punchy, to the point and clearly states your aspirations and skills.
- Check your tech! Think about the event format and what access you’ll be providing for those you’re meeting. If it’s video, clear your background (put that laundry away)! Make eye contact and confirm you’re engaged. If it’s audio, use headphones and a microphone so that you can focus and the noise in your background is limited.
- Make a great impression. Think about your pitch – why you’re interested in them and what you can bring. Remember you’re the expert in the subject you’re talking about so this is your chance to shine and show them what a great hire you would be.
- Ask open questions. Get that conversation or chat going – this will help you build rapport and decide if that company culture is for you.
- Follow up. Thank the organisations/individuals you spoke to for their time and re-state your interest.
- Apply! Check the requirements and recruitment cycle – if it’s rolling don’t wait for the closing date, all roles may be full by then. Also, you can remind them of your interaction at the event.
- Check your emails. And don’t forget that spam folder! You don’t want to miss out because of a lost message!!!