Employers like when job-seekers say, "I've done some research on your company and would like to know more about [...]." Here are a few tips to help you get a head start:
Visit each employment event website (Career Corner’s events are listed here) read about attending employers.
- Employers are not just limited to companies. Some are government agencies or are non-profits
Determine if any employers match your career interests (we’re back to your self-assessment!) and if you match their needs. If you find a match with even one attending employer, you have a very good reason to attend!
Learn as much as you can about the organizations of interest to you:
- Their work, history, mission, vision, values, clients, competitors, culture, short and long-term priorities/projects, strengths and challenges, and trends or changes that might affect them.
- The more you know about an organization, the better equipped you will be at showing that you not only understand their needs and challenges, but can also help them meet some of those needs and challenges. This will enable you to ask better questions to the recruiters.
Widen your focus: Certain companies may offer employment opportunities outside their main field of recruitment:
- A private security agency company might be looking for an administrative coordinator.
- An accounting company may be looking to expand its tech support division.
There may be a lot more to an organization than meets the eye! Don’t let yourself be fooled by what you think you know of a company’s recruitment needs.
Employers want employees who are proactive, thoughtful and good listeners. Make yourself stand out with smart questions. Prepare thoughtful, focused and open-ended questions for the recruiters that show your interest in and knowledge of the organization.
Don’t walk up to recruiters and ask questions such as “What does your company do?” This is a major annoyance to employers — you’ve just shown that you didn’t prepare for the event! Some recruiters may conclude that you’re wasting their time, knowing that you could easily have found the answers online or in the organization’s own marketing material.
If you aren’t familiar with the organization, first pick up and read through some of their printed material, listen to the questions other job seekers may be asking, plan out what you would like to say to the recruiters and then approach them.