The other side of virtual networking: What’s it like from an employer’s perspective?

In celebration of our new online learning Pathway How to Talk to Employers aimed at helping students gain confidence and prepare for employer interactions, we spoke with a Grad Recruiter to find out about talking with employers at career festivals. When they talk to King’s students, what do employers prioritise? What is their role in the situation? What can students do to feel less nervous? Find out here!

Image of sign saying 'You got this!'. Click on image to read the blog postTell us a little about you!

I’m Rachael, and I work in Recruitment Marketing at BT – a job I didn’t even know existed when I first graduated! But it’s actually pretty cool, getting to show off what it’s like to work here for prospective colleagues. I run events, create content and really try to show all sides of working here.

When I first graduated I didn’t really know what I wanted to do and fell into recruitment working for an agency. A little while later, I got a job at BT and then was able to move into my current role.

 

Are you a seasoned virtual networker?

At the moment I do virtual networking pretty much every day. The type of virtual networking ranges, from external events to meetings with colleagues. It’s sometimes hard trying to come up with creative ideas when you’re not together, but apart from that, it’s not too much different to meeting people in person.

 

Our How to Talk to Employers Pathway is here to help you brush up on how to best prepare for a networking situation in a UK context, how to join a video meeting and present professionally through virtual platforms, and even what kinds of questions to ask so you can build success and learn about career paths out there. 

 

When you talk to students, what is your role in the situation?

In a virtual networking situation like a Careers Festival drop-in session, my job is to get you to apply for a job with us, so and make you passionate about what we do. In that situation, I want students to ask me about what you don’t know. That way not only can I hopefully get you enthusiastic about what we do, but it also means I learn that we need to find a way to better tell students about it in the future.

 

What makes engaging with students fun?

I love chatting with students! I love the ideas and different ways of thinking that comes out of every new class – it certainly gives me something to think about. Plus, I love to think that I’ve (hopefully) managed to show you a little bit about some of the amazing things we do, and I feel proud I get to share that with new people. It was great to meet the King’s students at a recent Focused Festival, they all really wanted to hear about what we had to say and asked some great questions.

 

person typing on a laptop

What advice would you give students feeling nervous to talk to employers online?

Don’t be scared! We’re real people too, not monsters who are here to judge you for asking a question. We don’t expect you to know everything, that’s why we’re here! If you’ve got a question then it usually means either we’ve not explained something properly, or you’ve thought of something we didn’t even think of. So ask us anything.

In terms of managing your nervousness, I think it’s just good to keep calm and remember that life happens. We’re all in the same boat using virtual platforms. If someone walks in accidentally or a pet decides to interrupt – chances are that no one will mind at all so just try not to panic that it’s not gone perfectly.

 

Feeling curious to try out virtual networking? Then check out our employer events where you can practice networking skills! Great places for networking are also King’s Connect where you can talk to King’s Alumni for advice and tips on careers. Also, your lecturers are great people to try out networking if you want to start small – it’s all about practice. And remember, you’ve got plenty of support – as well as the Pathway, you can read lots of advice on our Networking KEATS pages.