Tips on approaching employers

Mesh operations manager in action

Employers are more keen than ever to get in front of students and graduates as global skill shortages continue to bite. So it was no surprise that over 100 employers were on campus attending career fairs over the last four weeks to promote their organisations and meet potential employees (that’s you!). Other employer presentations will continue to run through the semester – so how do you make the most of a chance to have a chat with an employer?

Here are tips from five employers

Ask good questions, says Mesh operations manager Pravin Patel (centre above).
“If you ask questions about us and what we do, then you’re showing genuine interest, particularly if you’ve already looked on our website. If you ask questions at an event, then I figure you’re going to do so as well in the office workplace where we need people with inquiring minds.”

2/students chatting at career fair
Approach us confidently and directly and ask about us and the roles that might be available, advises Ecozip managing director Gavin OIiver.
“When you’re leading a tour group you’re the ringmaster and the person clients look towards. So while we’re not necessarily looking for extroverts, we do want to see confidence and the ability to communicate easily face-to-face. A willingness to connect is really one of the most important attributes.”

Be curious and ask as many questions as possible, advises Cordis Auckland recruiter Emma Nguyen.
“We are looking for people with a can-do attitude so we encourage students to utilise their time at Trina to try something new so when they apply for their first full time job they have some life and work experience as well.”

Talk to as many people as you can, suggests PGF health promoter and AUT alumni Shayal Mala.
“We gauge your interest through having a good conversation. You’ll do best if you’ve done a bit of research before on organisations you might be interested in so you can ask about aspects of what they do and ask good questions.”

5/big chat at career fair
Don’t forget to ask for contact details for follow up or for information on ways to apply for jobs, advises Helen van Asch, Tamaki Makaurau Intelligence acting intelligence supervisor.
“We want to hear your personal and career aspirations and for you to demonstrate your interest in the organisation by asking good questions,” she says.

To sum up

The overriding tip – find your confidence to ask questions and have a conversation! They get to meet you – and they will remember you – and you get to practice talking to employers which is great practice for an actual interview.

Want help?

Not confident to do that yet? Then enrol in workshops on networking, job search and creating your elevator pitch through our AUT Employability and Careers service.

You can book into workshops through Elab Online. Not used Elab before? It’s easy. Just pop in your student ID and password, then look for Events and Workshops. We look forward to seeing you.

Or drop into the Employability Lab at WA 202 and have a chat to one of our employability and career specialists. Our team also spends time each week at North and South Campus student hubs.