Virtual job fairs can be both fulfilling and challenging at the same time for both employers and employees. I must confess that my previous experiences with DuuniDay have been primarily passive. I only attended, checked out what the companies had to offer and, most importantly, went to pick some souvenirs. Sounds familiar, right? Senior colleagues and friends (international students and alumni) I met then succeeded in dissuading me into believing that no matter what you do or don’t do, these companies will never employ you at the expense of their own. One thing I forgot to consider was that each one of us has a unique path to his/her destination and that no two fingers are the same. Soon after graduation, I realised my mistakes and the opportunities I missed during my studies.
Virtual career fairs and recruitment processes are becoming increasingly popular not only because of COVID 19, but also the fact that they save employers’ money and time. Similarly, the job seeker also saves time and costs and can reach a wide number of companies within a short period of time.
Job hunting is time consuming and can be frustrating at times. That is why I recommend Find Your Career self-study platform to help in your job search journey. You need patience, discipline, and dedication, especially in these hard times (COVID 19 Pandemic) as an international talent. Virtual career fairs like this year’s DuuniDay can be challenging even for tech savvy students and they require a bit of research and practice.
Having learnt my experiences the hard way, when I got the opportunity to participate DuuniDay again, this time around virtually, I would like to share with you how I prepared differently to get the most out of DuuniDay. Here are my twelve important preparation steps towards DuuniDay to help you land your dream job / traineeship / internship or thesis work:
Preparations before DuuniDay
1. Create an account at Job Teaser if you do not already have one.
2. Ensure that your CV, cover letter and LinkedIn profile are updated
3. Research companies.
Prior to Virtual DuuniDay, check the list of companies participating DuuniDay and make a list of 5-10 (in the order of importance to you) companies that interest you. Research these companies thoroughly through company websites, Google, company Facebook pages, LinkedIn and published annual reports. This will enable you to highlight your skills that are relevant to each company.
4. Check if the company has open positions.
Check if there are open positions available and consider which positions you would like to apply to. Then choose which virtual stands you would like to participate.
5. Identify decision makers of the company (e.g. through LinkedIn)
Browse on LinkedIn to find out decision makers in the company (e.g. HR manager, sales manager, production engineer, IT manager) and send them personalised LinkedIn connection requests.
6. Make your own schedule and create calendar reminders using Google Calendar
Because the event is virtual, there is the possibility of you missing something if you do not keep personal reminders.
7. Prepare your introduction
Prepare a short elevator pitch to introduce yourself. Practice your pitch until you become familiar with it.
8. Prepare at least one question for each company.
Based on the background research on the companies, draft at least one question for each company. Asking good questions and making an impression on the employers might set you apart from other job seekers.
Preparations on DuuniDay
9. Dress appropriately (as though it was face-to-face)
Even though the event is virtual and you won’t be meeting face-to-face, dress presentably and formal and appear well prepared for an interview.
10. Be organized and disciplined.
Ensure that your internet, video camera and microphone are all working properly. Make also sure that your CV, application letter and LinkedIn are ready. Also test all the links to ensure they are working properly and that you know where to locate and at what time. Keep up with time and follow your timetable religiously.
11. Be active and ask questions
During the event, make sure that you are active by asking relevant questions. Be careful also not to hijack the platform and respect other participants. Create a spreadsheet or have a notebook where you can easily input information about the connections you make or the companies to which you will submit your CV.
DuuniDay is a great place to network with recruiters. Get the names of the company representatives and towards the end of your session, politely ask them if you could send them connection requests on LinkedIn. Connect with the presenters the next day after the event.
Apply to the positions you are interested in and let the company representatives know which positions you have applied to. Keep in touch with your new network and build relationships for future reference.
If you feel ready to land your dream job during your studies and/or after graduation, follow these steps and be proactive, patient and get ready to get hired! It might not be immediate but surely you will be hired with determination and being positive.