Face-to-face is the new online

Over the last few years, graduate recruiters have invested heavily in online media to promote their brand and market their vacancies. Stands to reason, doesn’t it? Because where else are students to be found these days when they’re not down the pub? Yes, online. So as well as investing heavily in their own websites and using proper decent careers sites like gradireland.com, they’ve also been dipping nervous toes in Facebook and Twitter.

However, a recent survey undertaken by the global recruitment consultancy TMP Worldwide shows that, although students use the web for careers information and to research potential recruiters, when it comes to making serious decisions about who to apply to, then nothing beats a bit of face to face. Can recruiters convey their unique culture or show how their people are special purely online? Well, not according to the more than a thousand students who completed the survey.

So while recruiters will still put their message out there virtually, they ignore campus fairs, presentations and skills sessions at their peril. But just as face-to-face is critical for recruiters to promote their brand, culture and people, it’s also pretty important for students and graduates. You need to promote your ‘brand’, your skills, your knowledge of the organisation and above all your enthusiasm for the job because they will be judging you too.

I would argue that this is also true for students looking for postgraduate study. You can’t make a serious and expensive decision like choosing a course without speaking to people at the college, can you? So postgraduate fairs like those at your university – or the national and huge postgradireland Further Study Fair in Dublin next week – are a chance to find out more about course providers face to face. You’ll find it a much richer experience than looking at websites…

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