Networking during the time of physical distancing has some differences and some similarities to networking at other times. We've put together two infographics to help illustrate:
Check out our Tip Sheets on Career Fairs and Employer Information Sessions. The Video/Skype Interview webpage helps you prepare your technical set up and visuals so you can look your best on-screen and communicate effectively.
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- They are an excellent opportunity to gather information about an organization and make contact with recruiting and hiring representatives
- It is a chance to tell recruiters about your qualifications and show that you are genuinely interested in the company
- The information you gather can also help you decide whether or not to pursue employment with the organization
What to expect
Note: this format will be similar whether the event is online or in-person
- The information session will start with a presentation by the employer, usually including an overview of the company and specific information about the positions advertised
- A group 'question and answer' session usually follows the presentation
- After this, students typically have a chance to speak with the company recruiters individually or in small groups
How to prepare
- Read the posting carefully
- Research the company thoroughly
- Prepare questions to ask in the group and with individual recruiters
- Prepare a 30-second 'elevator speech' outlining your skills, and practice it with a friend until you can present it in a natural way
What to say
- During the group 'question and answer' period, ask about things that are relevant to everyone, such as the future direction of the company or the typical career path for entry-level candidates. Make sure that you don't ask for information that you could get by doing some basic research
- During the mingling part of the session, you have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with a recruiter and to give your 30-second introduction. Now is the time to ask questions that show you have done your research. You should also be ready to talk about why you are interested in the company and the position. Try to speak to several recruiters, as they will often discuss their impressions of students after the session. Note: if held online, this mingling session might be held via break-out rooms, a chat or a Q&A session. Be prepared for these different formats.
- If you decide to apply for a position with this company, mention in your cover letter that you attended the information session and include the name of the recruiter you spoke to and try to work in any relevant information you gathered.
- Arrive at least 10 minutes early; arriving late will disrupt the session. If held online, sign in early to ensure you can enter the session and your technology works.
- Dress for an interview even if the event is online unless the employer specifies a business casual dress
- If drinks are served, avoid the alcohol
- If food is served, avoid the messy stuff
- Don't monopolize a recruiter's time; know when to move on
- When you end a conversation, be sure to thank the recruiter and ask for their business card/contact details
- Don't ask a recruiter how to apply; you should already know
- When you ask a question, listen carefully to the recruiter's response