Are you prepared for an employer forum?
5 tips direct from an employer to get you prepared!
This month and next are the busiest on the GradConnection forums of the year - with over 30 forum sessions where you can chat directly to employers. Here are 5 tips direct from one of those employers (who wishes to remain anonymous, just to see whether you apply it to their forum session or not ;) ). Take 5 minutes to have a read and apply this valuable information to the future GradConnection sessions. Let us know how you went in the comments section below!
Employer forums are a great way to connect with organisations you are keen to work with and ask questions directly of those who are responsible for the graduate/summer vacation recruitment program. It's an opportunity to get 'one up' on your competition and get some real insights into the organisation, the recruitment process and how to put your best foot forward!
So how can you prepare for an employer session? Yes! Prepare! While employer forums are conducted online and you can be sitting on your couch at home in your track pants and hoody, it's still important to make a good impression and take advantage of the unique opportunity that forums offer.
1. Research the company - a lot of information is available on a company's website. Use this as a tool to initially find out about an organisation and their graduate program before hopping onto a forum. Asking questions that are readily answered on a company's website like 'how do I apply for your graduate program?' aren't a great use of yours or the employer's time.
2. Create a list of questions - from your research, think of some questions to ask that are not already answered on the website. This may include questions about the recruitment process, personal experiences, what the organisation particularly looks for in an application or further information about an area of the business you are interested in. Asking questions that you have thought about will ensure you get the most value from the forum and will potentially give you a leg up on other applicants.
3. Know who you are talking to - quite often, the forum host will post the full names of the organisational representatives. You can use LinkedIn or the organisation's website to find out who these representatives are and their role with the organisation. This information will assist you in creating a connection with the representative and allow you to ask questions that are most relevant. Imagine asking the CEO of an organisation how to apply for their program when you could have used your question to seek more insightful information on the business - while this is unlikely, it demonstrates the importance of knowing who you are speaking with!
4. 'I' does not become 'i' - it's important to try and use the best grammar and spelling you can to indicate that you take pride in your communication and have strong attention to detail. While academic quality text is not expected, it's best not to give employers any reason to question your future application. You wouldn't use text speak, slang and all lower case letters in your formal application so probably best not to let your good habits slip in an online employer forum either.
5. Get involved! It's great to read the posts of other students, but why sit back and watch when you can have your own specific questions answered? Employers want to hear from you and would much prefer to answer your burning questions than have you confused or worse still, not feeling confident to apply for their graduate/vacation program.
Did this formula work for you? Tell us in the comments section below!