How Do Companies Recruit
Not with-standing that employers advertise vacant positions and use recruitment agencies (for experienced staff, typically not graduates), employers typically prefer to employ people they know. Those that are known to the company have a significant edge compared to those that rely on CVs alone.
There are four primary methods used to get to know graduates.
Engage with students at the university
In practice, unless working with students, it is difficult to 'know' a student based on a conversation within a blur of other conversations. This describes most talks and workshops provided by industry at university where you get the chance to chat with the presenter. Whilst the topics are of great value to students, from a business perspective talks and workshops excel at promoting a company as an employer of graduates, but only exceptional students tend to stand out, for example, competition winners and volunteers.
Engaging in industry projects with students is often better for getting to know students; based on their engagement with the project and how they work with their peers. Keep in mind that when evaluating you as a recruit, industry is less interested in the 'right' answer and far more interested in how you came to that answer.
Engage with students in the office
Many companies actively support tech meetups on topics of interest to them. There are a variety of good reasons for this, one of those is that it encourages interested and interesting people to come visit and socialize with existing staff. This includes students and graduates, why go to them when they will come to you for the conversation and pizza.
Employers use Meet-ups
and other industry events and conferences to encourage their staff to network, to learn from others, showcase what they are doing and spot potential new talent interested in the same things.
Word of mouth - Staff suggestions
People who have met you and gained a good impression, tend to carry that impression back to work. They are also the first to become aware of vacancies and they know the HR team responsible for finding candidates to interview. Even better, HR is trying to find candidates that will fit with the existing team, a good word from a team member is usually a good sign.
To provide a good impression takes three elements. Are you doing things with the tech skills you have (think personal projects), have you got some talent (tech skills) and would they enjoy working with you (soft skills).
Summer of Tech and Careerhub
Both Summer of Tech and Careerhub offer easy access to students (you) and arrange events such as industry presentations and meet-n-greets.
There are three major meet-n-greets every year. Careerhub runs two held in the Cotton Building ground floor corridor and Summer of Tech holds one, typically at Westpac Stadium.
Employers use Summer of Tech and Careerhub, precisely because they want staff with your level of talent. Employers look elsewhere for 'experts'. For graduates and interns, this is where employers expect to find them.