I picked up this Vic Careers reference book titled ‘The Little Book of Calm’ by Paul Wilson while deciding what to write for my blog. One of Paul Wilson’s secrets for calm includes: ‘Wear White: The clothes you wear have a distinct influence on the way you feel. Loose garments, natural fabrics and light colours […]

Looking for an internship or graduate role at the end of the year? Then you’ll need to be clued up about what employers are looking for when recruiting. Do you have business acumen? Are you commercially aware? Do you even know what these terms mean? In all of our discussions with employers, time and time […]

In finding an ideal graduate job in an uncertain and changing world, keeping motivated is the most important thing you can do to build career success. Don’t worry too much if your first job doesn’t quite match your dream – it can be a stepping stone. Try things out, take risks and develop your skills; […]

Next week, I’ll be attending two Careers Expos, very exciting! Countless opportunities and contacts in one place – definitely a must! My main intention is to make as many contacts as possible. However, I have a big problem: I can’t remember names… I could forget a person’s name as soon as he/she is introduced to […]

Career Expos are one of the best ways to explore opportunities and set the stage for a rewarding career in the future. Since employers have made the time and effort to come and speak to YOU, the hardest part about connecting with employers (for example having to approach an employer from out of the blue) […]

Have you planned your job search key dates, self review reminders or set up some kind of career calendar for 2013? Many students plan their study timetables and look ahead to breaks or travel plans but yet leave decision making around their future career direction until the last minute. It seems that students are acutely […]

In a few weeks’ time, you may have the opportunity to attend Victoria’s Campus Careers Expo (17 May) and the ICT Careers Expo (18 May). You can connect face-to-face with recruiters who make hiring decisions and to explore career opportunities available. Do your homework, as preparation for employer conversations will help you feel confident and make a good impression.

Before the Expo:

  • Review the directory of employers and research the organisations. Find out the disciplines, the types of jobs and people they are looking for, then you can ask very focused and specific questions. This impresses representatives because it shows a genuine interest in them. Develop some questions you’d like to ask and review them the night before the event. Also, think of questions you may be asked and what your answers will be. E.g. “Why would you like to work at XYZ Enterprise?” or “How does your experience relate to sales management at WW Industries?” or “Tell me a bit about your background and experience.”
  •  Update your CV and have copies to take along to the expo. Proofread carefully to ensure there is no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors  (Why not have it checked at Vic Careers Drop-ins ahead of time if you can?)
  • Practice introducing yourself with flatmates or family to get your handshake and delivery to its best point, while maintaining eye contact throughout your conversation. Showing interest and good manners is important, regardless of the type of job you are looking for. Every employer appreciates someone who is dedicated, conscientious, and attentive.
  • Prepare a 30 second marketing pitch about yourself and when the recruiter asks about your qualifications you’ll be able to answer in a confident, self-assured manner.

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Here’s a true story of someone who has made it through to his first job, by choice and by chance. …but not by his grades! Johnny was having some difficulty in landing a job after his graduation. He has neither appealing grades nor great achievements. He decided to visit the companies that he’s interested in and […]

With two big career expos coming up in May you need to start thinking about how to make the most of these events.  Career Expos provide an excellent opportunity for making contacts with potential employers in an informal, non-threatening way. 

Key to success is giving a strong confident introduction and having good questions ready to ask of recruiters.  Remember these people are there because they want to talk to YOU!  So, there is no need to feel self conscious about approaching them as this is what they are expecting and hoping for.  In fact, if you see a recruiter standing on their own, that is an excellent time to make your approach.  Recruiters really dislike standing around with no one to talk to and are delighted when students approach them.  Start off by introducing yourself using a firm (but not crushing!) handshake, tell them what you are studying and what year of study you are at.   If they don’t have a name tag ask for their name, what their position is in the organisation, how long they have been with that company and what they enjoy most about both the organisation and the type of work they are doing.  For example, what made them choose the organisation and why do they stay?    

What next?  Remember this is your opportunity to learn about the organisation and what they look for when recruiting.  Here are some ideas to get you started, I’m sure you will be able to think of others! 
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It occurred to me that a little advice to students on ‘dress code’ would be timely, with the early arrival on campus of employers keen to begin recruiting and my recent and bemused reading of an article on the ‘dress code’ that Swiss banking giant UBS recently issued to its employees. The 40-page document covers the ‘dress requirements’ for all their public-facing employees from head to toe; hairstyle, the type of socks, the style of skirt, and the colour of underwear. You may be surprised to know that most employers do actually have a dress code for their employees. This may be enshrined in stone, enforced by peer pressure or just followed intuitively.

So, if you are a student or recent graduate applying for a role in a corporate environment how do you know what’s expected with the often conflicting messages and terminology out there? The truth is that it’s difficult but this will help.
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