How to Talk to Employers

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‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.’ How many times have you heard that phrase? But it’s true! Networking with employers is a great way to talk to someone with first-hand experience in a specific industry or profession and it allows you to explore the career opportunities available.

Our Careers & Opportunities Fair on 25th October will be a fantastic chance to get chatting to a wide range of people from a variety of employers – so make sure you feel as confident as possible

For many people, the thought alone of having to approach an employer and ask them questions (that your head is telling you will sound stupid) is terrifying. Your palms begin to feel clammy, you’re suddenly talking very quietly and you’re unable to make any form of eye contact. Sound familiar? Well, don’t panic! In this post, we’ve outlined a step-by-step guide on how to talk to employers.

1) The more you prepare, the more in control you’ll feel
Take the time to do some research on a company. Look at their website and social media platforms to get an overview beforehand. This will help you to form some specific questions to ask.

2) Be confident when your approach the employer
As daunting as it might seem approaching an employer on your own, you should try it. You might actually find it easier not having your friends next to you, listening to what you say! Break the ice with a firm handshake and then open the conversation with your name, degree subject/year of study and asking what they offer. Start by highlighting your skills, what you are interested in and why.

3) Formulate some generic questions you can ask a number of employers
You can draw on an interesting point they have made during their presentation or workshop – “Can you tell me more about…?”
“In your role, what does a typical day look like?”
“What are the key skills you want candidates to demonstrate during the application process?”
“What does the application process involve?”
“What are the best and worst things about your job?”

4) Wrap things up
Thank the employer for their time and ask them what would be the best way for you to follow up with them. Have some business cards ready to hand out – this will contribute to your professional image. While your interaction is still fresh, look the employer up on LinkedIn and ask to connect with them. This will be a useful way of keeping track of the people you’ve met.

5) Remember: be confident, be yourself and smile!
With a fantastic schedule of employer events taking place this academic year, you’ll be able to put your networking skills into practice. Look out for our Employer in the Foyer series, a range of insightful employer workshops and presentations, and in particular our Careers & Opportunities Fair – one not to be missed!

For more information on the Careers & Opportunities Fair, like our Facebook page.

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