You are planning to attend a UGA Virtual Career Fair. You have registered (check!), signed up for group and 1:1 sessions (check!), and picked out your business professional outfit (check!). But now you are wondering…what things should I say during a 1:1 session with an employer?
After each career fair, the UGA Career Center surveys both students and employers. One question we ask is, “please indicate your level of agreement with the following statement regarding research preparation: Students effectively demonstrated their knowledge of the organization.” According to our Fall 2020 survey, only 67% of employers agreed with this statement while 90% of students agreed. What does this mean? It means this is an area of growth and development for UGA students.
So, what knowledge do employers expect students to demonstrate during virtual 1:1 meetings exactly? Here’s a sample of the advice employers provided in our post-event survey:
- Students should include two sentences on what the company does. Provide a high-level overview of each company they are speaking with!
- At a minimum, students should showcase that they have researched the company by accessing the company website and read the ‘about us’ information. They should have general knowledge of the company and industry.
- Students should demonstrate an understanding of what they are looking for and what they can bring to the organization.
- I think it is great that students work on their elevator pitch, but it also gets in the way sometimes. I would have them be prepared for just normal conversation. There were quite a few times where I kicked off asking what they are looking for – internships/jobs, and they would stop me and say "well let me tell you about me" and give their elevator pitch. It did not flow and felt a little disjointed. Honestly, I think it was nerves, but I would say just listen to the conversation before jumping into the pitch. Also, just be prepared to discuss your experience in work, other internships, projects at school and what they excelled or liked most about it. That will help narrow down from the employer end, what they might be most interested in.
- Students should review the Handshake job descriptions for our vacant positions before signing-up for timeslots and understand the role(s) that the company is hiring for.
- Some students had not even been to our website to see what opportunities we were recruiting for. Of the 15-17 students I spoke to none demonstrated they had done research on the company outside of knowing what our industry is.
Now that you have received helpful tips directly from our employers, continue your virtual career fair 1:1 meeting preparation by watching our Researching an Employer YouTube video and reviewing the vacant positions on Handshake for employers you have signed up to meet with during the event.