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How to prepare for Career Fair

Download the below information in a PDF Guide: Student Info Pack - Using Career Fair to build your career (801 KB)
Download the Checklist: Checklist (295KB)

Understand your options & prepare yourself 

Career planning and advice

Your career is your number 1 asset and it influences many other aspects of your life. It’s never too soon to prioritise career planning, as this can provide you with direction and a game plan for your study years. Beginning early will also enable you to make the most of the many opportunities university will offer you to create the career you really want. Career support is an investment in your future, one that can pay dividends over your entire working life. It deserves the same care and attention as your health and finances. As you would in these areas, you should seek support from highly trained specialists.

USQ Careers and Employability offer one-on-one career planning sessions. Find out more about the available appointments.   

Understand the types of opportunities available 

Work experience
While studying there are a number of ways you can enhance your employability and develop your skills, one way is through work experience. The opportunities available to you may depend on your program of study and availability. For work experience that isn't a component of your studies, you may like to investigate formal work experience programs offered by organisations. Even if an organisation isn't offering a formalised placement opportunity, consider approaching organisations to see if they have the capacity to host you on an unpaid work experience placement, USQ Careers and Employability can offer support with this.

Internships 
Internships are on-the-job work experience opportunities related to your study/interest area. Internships can be paid or unpaid, and are generally short term but can last for a single week to a full year. According to National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE) an internship is “a carefully monitored work or volunteer experience in which an individual has intentional learning goals and reflects actively on what he or she is learning throughout the experience”.

Graduate jobs
Graduate jobs (also known as entry-level jobs) require a qualification, and a specific set of skills and knowledge. Graduate jobs can be great to get your foot in the door within your chosen industry and provide you with experiences and opportunities to develop your skills and expertise.
Entry level job vacancies can become available at any time of the year, therefore are a popular option for mid-year graduates. Not all graduates are attracted to the formal Graduate Programs, therefore a great number of university graduates commence their career in entry level positions. 

Graduate programs 
If you would like more structure to your new role and more formal on-the-job training and development, graduate programs are offered by a number of organisations each year. Graduate recruitment programs are generally offered by medium or large private and public organisations and Non-Government Organisations (NGO’s).These positions are highly sought after and recruitment can commence up to ten months before hand, so you need to be prepared and apply early. Most graduate programs have one key recruitment period per year, some with applications closing as early as April. Some companies however have rolling intakes throughout the year. You may wish to monitor these through sites like USQ Access, Graduate Opportunities or GradConnection.

Research Employers

Every organisation is different in terms of their values, opportunities, and team culture. Do your research and identify organisations that will fit you. Many organisations now look for a ‘cultural fit’, this is how an individual’s attitudes, values and beliefs are in line with core values and culture of an organisation.  

To make the most of Career Fair, we suggest students go through the list of employers attending. This will enable you to shortlist the companies that you wish to make contact with and allow you to come up with specific queries for the representatives of those companies. You will also be able to see which positions they currently have advertised so you can customise your questions and prepare your resume (see more below).  

In most cases the job applications link will lead to their external site. Don’t forget to bookmark these on the browser to return to them at a later time so as not to miss out on any live chat time.

Prepare yourself 

Resume: Update your Resume prior to the Online Event

Make sure your resume is up to date and tailored to each position. A winning strategy is to try and align your resume and experiences with the job and company requirements each time.
For help on your resume, access our online Resume and Cover Letter workflow which provides you resources and templates and also allows you to upload your resume for professional feedback by our team. 

LinkedIn: Update your LinkedIn profile prior to the Online Event

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social network. You will use LinkedIn to stay connected with the people you meet at the online event and updated on developments and opportunities in the industry. 
For help on your LinkedIn profile, access our online LinkedIn workflow, which provides you resources and also allows you to upload your LinkedIn profile for professional feedback by our team. 

Practice your interview response – in particular ‘tell me about yourself’

Even when you are just informally speaking with an employer, your ability to respond to questions and engage in conversation is important to getting your point across and making a good first impression.
To practice your skills in responding to interview questions, access our Big Interview platform where you can learn and practice your interview skills. In particular we suggest the ‘tell me about yourself’ question. 

Making the most of the Online Career Fair

The Online Career Fair will enable you to DISCOVER internship, vacation work and/or graduate opportunities, will virtually CONNECT you with employers and help PREPARE you to reach your career goal. You will be able to join in from any mobile, tablet or computer. 

  • Browse a range of virtual employer booths to find information and resources on organisations and opportunities. 
  • Live chat with employers from different organisations at their virtual booths on 12 March from 10am - 1pm. 
  • Learn more about opportunities and get tips for career success at the online and live Career Insights Conference. 

To get started check out the below video to build your understanding of how to make use of the Career Fair platform:

USQ's Online Career Fair: Learning the online platform video

The Exhibition Hall 

The virtual Exhibition Hall is where you will be able to view a range of organisations virtual booths. You will have the option to filter by study areas. Scroll through their resources, videos and jobs boards to find out more about the organisation and its opportunities. Don’t just look at the opportunities the organisation is promoting at the fair, ask about other opportunities within the organisations – 70% of jobs are not advertised and this is how you find them! 

How to access Employer Booths: 
Enter the Exhibition Floor by selecting the Exhibitor tab, from here, you can scroll or swipe left or right to browse the available booths. You can click or tap on the booth to enter. 

Explore Resources Provided by Employers: Without having to worry about paper-based documents, you can download company brochures and flyers direct from the Online Career Fair to save and read at your convenience. They’ve also provided a range of videos you may watch, to see further information about their company and their opportunities. 

Live Chat with Employers

Live chat with employers in real time from 10am - 1pm on Thursday the 12 March (AEST) during USQ's Online Career Fair.

How to Access the Chat Session: You will be able to chat in real time to a representative from each company in private or public. Simply click the ‘Chat to Employer’ button in the company booth. Live text chat, and video chat is available. 

Select the ‘Public chat’ in the top bar if you would like to take part in the public chat. To initiate a private chat (from within the public chat room), simply click on an online representative from the user list.

Set a Reminder:Sometimes, due to its ease of access, virtual events can be forgotten. Make sure you set a reminder in your calendar to alert you when the live chat session is about to start.

Chat Directly with Company Representatives: During the Live Chat session try to reach out to the representatives of your shortlisted companies. Asking questions through text or video chat will enable you to gain clarity for sound decision-making and also highlight your motivation and interest in the role. You can ask questions ranging from company culture to employee benefits and everything in between. 

Preparing a list of questions for employers beforehand will save you a lot of time in the chatroom. If an interesting piece of information is found in the group chatroom or webinar make sure you jot it down so you don’t forget it.

Talking topics to consider: 

  • Introduce yourself and your interest area
  • Ask about the company representative (eg. What their role is, what do they do on a daily basis)
  • What opportunities does the company have?
  • What does the company look for in an applicant?
  • What is it like to work at the company?
  • What can you do to better your chances of being selected?

Choose a Calm and Comfortable Place: Make sure you are sitting at a quiet place, with stable internet and a compatible device. 
If you feel you will use the video chat function make sure you are dressed appropriately and in a quiet and appropriate setting (no polarising posters in the background for example).

Attend the Career Insights Conference Webinar Series

To complement USQ's Online Career Fair, the Career Insights Conference is designed to support USQ students in gaining knowledge and understanding of opportunities and practical tips to increase their chances of career success. 

How to join: Enter the Conference Hall and select the session from the options on the screen. 

Have questions or experiencing issues?

A USQ Careers and Employability representative will be available to chat live with you from 9- 13th March 2020 between the hours of 9:00am – 4:00pm AEST, should you have any career-related questions.

To access the Support Chat: Navigate to the black tool bar at the top of the Online Career Fair Home page. Click on "Public Chat". Select “USQ General Enquiry” user on the right hand side of the screen to begin a private chat with our team when you are ready. 

If you would like to contact us outside of these hours, please contact us on careers@usq.edu.au

Who are USQ Careers and Employability?

USQ Careers and Employability support USQ students in the ongoing process of managing your life, learning and work. It involves developing the skills and knowledge that enables you to plan and make informed decisions about your education, training and career choices. 

USQ has a range of initiatives to help all USQ students to have access to services while transitioning into, through and out of university. 

How can we help you? 
Click here to see the list of career development support we have on offer to students.

Recognise your achievements – USQ Phoenix Award

The Phoenix Award is a great opportunity for you to show future employers exactly what you have learned and achieved outside of the classroom, developing your graduate skills and increasing your employability. It’s easy, online and on completion you will receive a personalised certificate demonstrating the wide range of skills you’ve developed during your time at USQ. Check out the Phoenix Award… you can even get points for attending the Online Career Fair!