Do you want your employment opportunities doomed because of your online look? Do you want to stand out from the crowd because you have jam down your top, greasy hair, an unmade bed or a flatmate fooling around in the background? Maybe not?
Always have your video on when ‘attending’ online presentations and if that means you have to find another place in your house to position yourself, so be it. Presenters and employers want to see a person, not a name on a screen, so they feel they are engaging with you and you with them. Otherwise, why not do it by phone!
But you don’t want to show them your bed, messy kitchen sink or your flatmate wandering across the back of the screen half dressed. They also don’t want to see dogs or cats crawling over your workspace.
And please, please have your microphone muted until you want to ask a question. Your mic picks up lots of noise, rustling for paper, slurping your coffee, animals or kids or flatmates in the background, the neighbour’s lawnmower... the list goes on.
Always do a practice run to get your camera distance and angle right. Make sure you are not sitting too close to the camera, or too far away. You don’t want to look like you’re in another room, nor does the recruiter or presenter want to see the inside of your nostrils - or your bemused forehead.
Once you are online, remember it is live and think about your body language. Nod, make eye contact, sit up straight. Don’t yawn into the camera or start cleaning your nails, or worse!
NB: if you have only changed the top half of your pyjamas, don’t get up in the middle of the presentation or interview to shut a door or open a window. It has happened and it looks hilarious, but it is NOT good practice.
Think of best practice when applying for a job and use the same rules (at least from above your waist) with online interviews or presentations. That means a casual singlet is not going to wow an employer - unless they are the designers of said singlet!
Be tidy, including making sure your face and hands are clean because that level of detail can be seen quite easily on a screen bigger than a cell phone.
As well as having your video on/mic off until asking questions, you must also ‘arrive’ on time. Be in the waiting room (for Zoom) or be ready online five minutes before the session is scheduled. There is nothing worse than having people popping in once the presentation has started – just like in real life really. And in real life or online, you are never ever late for a job interview.
Presenters put time and effort into going online in front of students for a reason – and it isn’t just because they’re trying to find things to do in lockdown! They want to pass on ideas and advice and to ‘meet’ students. So make sure you network with them through question time. Remember your name usually appears on your question on web chat. If it is a good question, they will probably remember you.
But asking a presenter if they might have a job for you is not a good way to network online. How would they know if you’d be a good person to employ? (Yep someone did that recently). Listen to what they are saying, jot down things you’d like to ask and then put up your question without grammar and spelling mistakes. That bit is easy because you’re probably on your laptop and can quickly put your question through a spell check before popping it into the chat.
Find out when we are running the next employer presentations by going to Elabonline. Not used Elabonline before? It's easy - just click on 'Current Student', put your AUT name and password, and you're in and ready to access everything you need.