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ASPIRING agriculture graduates grabbed chances to kick-start their careers at the ICMJ Virtual Careers Fair this week, with more than 300 meetings held between recruiters and prospective employees.
A total of 38 companies spanning the length and breadth of the meat and livestock value chains used the opportunity on Tuesday to seek-out new talent for their businesses, for roles as varied as stock handlers to marketers, engineers, researchers and financial analysts.
ICMJ Careers Fair coordinator Rozzie O’Reilly said the event was a huge success in connecting young people starting out in their careers with agribusinesses in need of talented and hard-working employees.
“The fact that 316 meetings were held in the span of just five hours says huge amounts about the eagerness of agriculture graduates to find the right place to start their careers,” Ms O’Reilly said.
“It was also exciting to see that it wasn’t just final-year university students taking part, but young industry professionals looking to take the next step in their career. And from a recruiter’s point of view, the Careers Fair Plus app was the perfect platform for booking and hosting the 10-minute video meetings,” she said.
Inter Collegiate Meat Judging (ICMJ) is a not-for-profit association which aims to inspire and develop future professionals in the global red meat industry, and to build the pool of intelligent young meat industry representatives who will give the Australian meat industry the expertise to compete internationally.
It launched the online event last year after COVID forced the cancellation of its trade expos in Wagga and Rockhampton, which have traditionally been happy hunting grounds for red meat businesses looking to recruit the best and brightest university graduates.
This year’s Virtual Careers Fair kicked off with a webinar on ‘Making the Most out of Networking Opportunities’ from leading agribusiness recruiter Nigel Crawley of Rimfire Resources, who provided 30 participants with top tips on how to impress during their video conferences.
“More than 50pc of the jobs we’ve placed in the last 12 months have happened even though the employer and employee haven’t actually met face-to-face until the first day of the job – the initial meetings and job interviews are being done on video-conference so often now, so how we present online is really important,” he said.
Mr Crawley presented the job-seekers with five top tips to help prepare for their 10-minute meetings with prospective employers:
- Have a meeting plan – know what you want to learn and what you want to communicate about yourself
- Articulate who you are in a 2-minute mini-story detailing where you’re from, your training and ambitions, and why you’re interested in learning more about the company you’re meeting with
- Bring a notepad and pen
- Remember it’s a two-way conversation, and
- Be sure to follow up in writing.
“And be concentrated and in-the-moment when you’re in these video meetings, because it’s very easy to tell when people are distracted and looking at something else on their screens,” Mr Crawley said.