How to research before a job fair
Why you need to prioritise
If you are planning to take part in IT-Day, it is a good idea to first consider a few things. When preparing, you can, for example, check out the program and the participating companies. Write down in advance which companies you would like to contact so that you do not waste time on the wrong ones. Just like when you go through the schedule at Roskilde Festival, you have to accept that you don’t have time for everything. Therefore, you need to prioritise.
To find out which companies you would like to get in touch with – and what you should talk about, targeted research can be of help. But what do you need to know and how do you find the information?
Check corporate websites, social media and use Google. Through those channels, you can get an impression of what the companies stand for, which helps you assess whether you want to prioritise them at the fair.
A good place to start is the “About Us” page of the companies. Here you can typically find things such as vision, mission and values that give you a quick overview of what they are up to and what they themselves believe is their raison d’être.
Examine job types
You are not (necessarily) looking for a job – but our guess is that you are exploring your options. Therefore, it is relevant to find out what types of positions the different companies typically offer and what professional backgrounds they normally employ.
To find out, you can do several things:
Go to the list of employees on the company's website and see if there are short descriptions of who they are and what they can do.
Search for the company on LinkedIn, find the list of people who have registered that they are or have been employed in the company and take a look at the profiles of relevant people. It's no shame to use LinkedIn, even if someone can see that you have visited their profile. Everyone respects that you are researching.
Use Jobindex and Jobindex's archive function to find out which positions the companies have published within the past year.
Find out who is participating
Once you know what the company stands for and whether they might be hiring people with your profile, it is time to find out which representatives are attending the fair. Examine the program to see if names, titles, or the like are listed. There is a difference between talking to a CEO and a Full Stack developer. The first you can talk to about the company’s major projects, vision and of course about employment opportunities, while you can talk to an employee about specific work tasks, important competencies and the company’s everyday culture and collegial unity.