James Davidson, Senior Manager,Campus Talent Acquisition
As we enjoy summer, campus recruitment teams are busy planning fall recruitment events at universities
around the world. Last year, PwC Canada hosted more than 300 campus events at universities from coast to coast.
Why do campus recruitment teams run events? Simple: We’re event-driven recruiters, as the people we
want to hire are geographically concentrated at universities and colleges. One of the most efficient ways for us to reach our hiring targets is by telling our firm’s story through hosting information sessions, office tours, cocktails, wine and cheeses, skills sessions and business simulations.
These events allow us to share our culture and identify potential applicants we may be interested in. Attending these events is therefore critical to your job hunting success. Not only will you be able to assess if the employer is right for you by hearing their story first hand and through meeting and interacting with their people, but you’ll also be highlighting yourself and your interest in them and learning things you can leverage in any future interview.
Here are some tips on how you can stand out for the right reasons:
Never network in a pack of friends.
Think like a tiger rather than a lion. To hunt down your prized role you need to ditch your friends at the door and set out on your own. This allows the limelight to be focused on you, demonstrates your confidence and independence to recruiters and you can ask the questions you want answers to.
Learn as much as you can before attending.
Review potential employers’ campus website, watch their videos, follow them on social media and talk to friends, Profs and Careers Counsellors. This allows you to show genuine interest in the employer and learn what they do and what you can expect from their campus programs. You’ll be able to ask targeted and relevant questions, which also helps you stand out.
Have an elevator pitch.
Know how you’ll introduce yourself in a confident and authentic manner. Your pitch should include: who you are; your qualifications and career aspirations; extra-curricular and relevant work experience. Above all else, it needs to be natural and authentic. Practice with friends or in the mirror if you’re feeling nervous. But don’t ask people who will just tell you that you’re awesome.
Listen to what the rep you’re talking to has to say.
Have an authentic dialogue, respond with relevant questions and avoid trotting out your list of pre-prepared questions. Approaching your interaction as a conversation will impress the rep more, who will be assessing your people interaction skills, confidence and whether or not they want to work with you.
Like a TV series, it’s better to go out on a high than drag on past a program’s best-before date. Be respectful of the amount of time you spend with each rep and don’t outstay your welcome. Thank them for their time, present a business card and indicate you hope to meet them again soon.
Send a follow up email.
Keep it short and don’t ask lots of questions. It’s a very busy time of year and recruiters can be receiving hundreds of emails per day. You’ll stand out positively with a short, crisp note, versus an essay and 20 questions.
By attending a networking event and maximizing the experience, you’ll build your knowledge and contacts. This is valuable because who you know can definitely help set you up for success in securing the role you’re interested in. But what you know can be equally important.
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