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How Can Networking at a Career Fair Help International Students?
Careers Fairs for international students is one of the most popular formats for students to connect with potential employers. Most universities run several multi-employer events each year to help students connect for internships or full-time opportunities.
For international students who probably plan to stay on in the host country after graduation and start a career, career fairs provide special opportunities where-in a potential employer can interact with you.
In some cases, because of the increasingly restrictive work-visa rules, employers might be hesitant to hire you. Fears like work-authorization applications may be rejected or they might have to spend higher amounts on your work visa. International students often don’t show much confidence in career fairs because they know that companies may not hire them because of the visa problems.
Usually, firms only have your CV to go by to gauge your suitability as a candidate. This is where career fairs help. Companies can meet and speak to you. They may not readily find a solution to visa problems, but they can at least convince themselves of your candidature and might take the next steps to take it forward.
Listing down the tips and how to make use of career fairs for securing a job abroad and/or improving candidature:
- Information: Have few companies in mind where you would like to apply? Career fairs help in providing a better understanding in the job and career opportunities available with the organization. Even in the digital age, you cannot find out about every position from company websites, additional information may be available at the stalls. Students also understand a company’s culture by meeting its representatives. For improving candidature, don’t be shy to ask questions. Do your research about the position you would like to apply for and ask questions about the role and responsibilities, promotions and other prospects. International students could research and find out whether the company has a branch office in your home country.
- Networking: Career and university fairs also provide an excellent platform for networking. As an international student, you will be able to meet other international students at fairs and keep in touch with them to know how they are faring with their job search. International students may even get to form networks with recruiters familiar with their native lands and find out how they can snag jobs in the host country. All this may not be possible to achieve online.
- Internships: Many companies may not be open for full time recruitment, however securing an internship to get a foot into the door might not be so difficult. If you are lucky, you may be able to bag a role that will give you a chance to familiarize yourself with an organization and its work culture. You may even be able to decide on a career.
- Interaction:At career fairs, you get to meet many potential employers, which helps you overcome apprehensions. You can hope to meet company representatives at various levels, from senior management and HR personnel to fresh recruits. Plan to meet about ten companies, five of them your priority companies. But you must first practice your personal pitch at the five non-priority companies on your list. Leave out companies that say they hire only citizens or permanent residents.
Career fairs, even when they do not give immediate positive results, can be a good practice ground for students.