This year our Careers Fair - 15/16 October , will be virtual with opportunities to book short 1:1 meetings directly with recruiters. These events will all be run through the Career Fair Plus app. We have over 90 employers looking to engage with our students so plenty of chances over the two days to ask questions to recruiters! In some ways, listening to virtual presentations will mean easier access and to hear up to date information from more employers than you might get to visit at a very busy physical fair. However, bookable 1:1 meetings can still bring a certain amount of anxiety for many disabled students or students with long term health conditions on how best to approach talking to an employer. So how can you prepare for these?
Which employers do I engage with?
You may have some employers already in mind that you may like to speak with and have already booked in to see them or you may still be thinking about which employers you want to target. It’s important to feel confident that the employers you do engage with will be interested in your strengths and how you can make a contribution. One option you can take is to focus your research on targeting diversity friendly employers so here are some tips to do this and some questions to ask yourself:
- Does the employer make it clear on their website and social media generally that they are an inclusive and diversity friendly employer?
- Are they registered as a disability confident employer?
- Website – do they show a diverse range of employees with case studies?
- Are they a member of the Business Disability Forum?
- Check whether the organisation has a Disability Employee Network
- Use your own network or Bath Connections to find out information
- Does the employer make it clear that disabled student applications are welcome?
- Does the website give an idea of reasonable adjustments?
Having done your research above, hopefully you are feeling more confident in approaching some of the employers who will be at the fair.
The virtual 1:1 meeting
If you would like to speak to an employer but have some concerns then consider whether some reasonable adjustments might make a conversation easier for you. So tips you could consider:
- If you find meeting an unknown person in an unfamiliar setting very stressful then you may prefer to request a telephone call and no video.
- The time slots are for 10 minutes but if a recruiter has space you may be able to have longer so worth checking this.
- If you have several questions that you would like to ask an employer but are not confident using the virtual meeting option, then you might prefer to email your query to an employer. There are many ways to engage with an employer and the Careers Service will be happy to discuss your concerns and look to find some possible solutions for you.
Should I ask about the recruitment process and how reasonable adjustments might work?
Many students have questions to ask on the recruitment process and additional support that they might need but are not sure how to approach the question. Tips for this:
- If you haven’t been able to find out some of the answers in your employer research, then the 1:1 meetings with employers might be a good time to do this. You can keep questions general. For example simply ask if they could direct you to information on supporting disabled employees in the workplace. There is no need to give any further information if you don’t want to.
- Think about asking more general questions around a topic. For example, you could ask “If someone has extra time for exams, could they request reasonable adjustments when taking psychometric tests? Can you give me some examples of the adjustments you have given for doing psychometric tests”?
- Do remember that in virtual meetings, the recruiters, or managers engaging with you may make some notes of your conversation and anything you decide to disclose. Its therefore important to feel confident with an employer before engaging and time spent in your preparation and research will help you with this.
- Email the Careers Service at careers-plus.bath.ac.uk if you have any queries relating to attending the fair.
Strategy for approaching employers….
- Do your research – find diversity friendly recruiters that you would like to approach
- Target particular employers and book some meetings with these employers
- Consider whether you need reasonable adjustments to attend the fair to ensure good conversations
- Decide what you want to know from the employer – recruitment process/role
- Make some notes
- Follow up – if you have contact details and would like to ask further questions
For further information on preparing for the fair check out Saiyada’s blog .
For details on how to book 1:1 meetings check here
Finally, don’t forget that the employers are really keen to speak with you and engage! Do download the app and make sure you make the most of this opportunity.