The Careers Fair provides an excellent opportunity to build networks and learn more about an organisation you are considering applying to – but some postgrad students may not feel it’s not valuable for them… The best way to decide is through a little bit of research.
Is an employer you’re interested in working for going to the fair?
Excellent! You have the opportunity to meet staff / graduates already working there and to find out ‘insider information’ about the roles you’re keen on, where the company is heading in the future, the way it treats recent graduates etc.
The above information proves extremely valuable in your application! If you choose to apply to that employer, it may help you stand out from others e.g it’s great evidence to use when demonstrating why you wish to work for that organisation in cover letters / job interviews.
You can get information first hand regarding eligibility criteria for graduate programs in relation to postgrads. Take the opportunity to ask if there are jobs/entry routes for someone with a Postgraduate qualification. If the person on the stand can’t answer this question, they may be able to give you the contact details of someone in the company who can which is an extremely important outcome for you.
Making contacts such as above is extremely valuable! Make sure you follow up any contacts you are given promptly, and mention where you got their name from so they can see the connection, as this will be more powerful than a random email to the contact that doesn’t mention where you got their name from.
If you’re focused on a niche job with a particular employer who won’t be attending the fair – attending may seem like a waste of your time. The types of employers who attend tend to be the larger ones who want to recruit several graduates/postgraduates onto a graduate program.
Still sitting on the fence?
Even if your preferred employer isn’t making an appearance, it may be a good idea to attend the fair anyway, in order to get a better idea of the types of organisations who are interested in recruiting Curtin students in your discipline. Plus, it can open your eyes to new jobs that perhaps you’ve never heard of or considered previously. Research the companies attending the Fair in advance and make a short list of those that appeal to you and might be interested in your discipline, so that you avoid wandering around the stands aimlessly on the day. Make a note of some questions you wish to ask them, which could be around the following:
- What made you choose this company? What do enjoy most about working there? What do you enjoy least?
- What qualities are important for success in your company?
- What are the positives / downsides of working in a particular role or section?
- What training is available?
- Do they know any postgraduates working for the organisation, & what jobs are they doing?
- What do they think is different about their organisation compared to their competitors
- What goals has your organisation set for the next 2-3 years?