Similar to an in-person career fair, virtual career fairs are a way for students and alumni to connect directly with employers. Our virtual career fair uses video chat technology to help you make a connection with a company representative.
The approach for a virtual career fair is very similar to an in-person fair.
- Introduce yourself and why you “stopped” by their booth
- Recruiter will talk about possible matches
- Make notes and ask questions for clarification
- Show interest and enthusiasm
We’ve assembled a number of tips to help you succeed at a virtual career fair.
- Six Ways to Prepare before a Virtual Career Fair
- Seven Tips for Participating in a Virtual Career Fair
- Four Must Do Steps after a Virtual Career Fair
The Career & Co-op Center is also here for live support to help you succeed at a virtual career fair and with your job search. Virtual drop-in hours are Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., if you need a quick, 15 minute conversation. If you want to work on your resume, practice for an interview after the Virtual Career Fair, or talk about your job search strategy, please schedule a virtual appointment.
prepareSix Ways to Prepare before a Virtual Career Fair
Update your resume.
Now is the time for your resume to shine. Jobs Connected requires you to upload your resume when you register for the Virtual Career Fair, so now is a great time to update it.
While you’re at it, use your updated resume to update your Handshake and LinkedIn profiles as well. While Handshake and LinkedIn have always been popular with recruiters, they are even more so now.
Research the companies.
Learn about the companies attending the virtual career fair. You won’t be interested in every one. Use your time before the event to highlight those you’re most interested in. The list of attending companies is growing every day and is accessible to you on Handshake.
Create your career fair profile.
Create your virtual career fair profile on Jobs Connected, the virtual career fair platform. You’ll be able to preview the employer booths as well.
Familiarize yourself with the Jobs Connected platform. Watch a short demo video of how the Virtual Career Fair will run.
Practice your elevator pitch.
An elevator pitch is a 30-second introduction to who you are, what interests you about the company, and what kinds of employment (internships, co-op, full-time employment, etc.). Good research on the company will make this less stressful.
InterviewStream is a great resource for you to practice your elevator pitch by video. (It’s also a great way to test your technology.)
Clean your room.
Clean up the physical space that will be visible during video calls. Remember that you will be in front of an employer, so make sure that the space you are in is free of possible distractions (TV, music, background conversation, bothersome roommates, etc.).
Test your technology.
Test your internet, video and audio connections. You don’t want to get to your top employer and find out your microphone is cutting out. Our virtual career fair uses group video chat to connect with recruiters. (Audio only and text chat only options are also available to you.) Check your technology in advance, so you can log in smoothly at the virtual career fair.
Not only can you use InterviewStream to practice interview questions on camera, it will also help you test your audio and video settings.
participateSeven Tips for Participating in a Virtual Career Fair
The dress code for the virtual career fair is business casual.
Have your resume ready to send.
You will be asked for your resume. Have it in a place that makes it easy to send directly to a recruiter. One upside of a Virtual Career Fair is that you do not need to print copies of your resume and bring them. You can do it straight from your device.
Be ready to put yourself out there.
An employer booth is a group video chat. There will be conversations already in progress when you join in. It may feel strange to enter into the middle of a conversation, but you also do not want to simply sit back and not say anything. Listen to any ongoing conversations to learn more while you wait your turn. When you get a moment or the employer says hello to you, be ready to introduce yourself.
Communicate like a professional.
Use clear, professional business communication. Avoid slang and, of course, profanity. Remember that your first impression means a lot to a potential employer.
Lean in and smile.
Demonstrate strong body language. Employers are paying just as much attention to how you say something as what you are saying. Remember to sit up straight, be aware of your hand motions, and don’t cover your mouth while you are talking. It’s helpful to lean in towards the camera and smile.
Look into the camera.
Think of this as making eye contact. Try to look into the camera when you are speaking and not at the recruiter’s video.
Open the door for follow up.
Ask for next steps and contact information. You can’t follow up if you don’t know who you talked with.
afterFour Must Do Steps after a Virtual Career Fair
Send a thank you note.
A thank you note to the employers you connected with shows your interest in them. Express your appreciation for their time and your enthusiasm for their company.
Connect on LinkedIn.
Ask representatives if you can add them on LinkedIn following the event. This is a great way to stay connected.
Apply to jobs.
Apply to positions as directed. If an employer mentions that they have a position you would be interested in, make sure you apply to that position as soon as possible.
Get ready for your virtual interview.
Review general video conference/interview tips. Many of these preparation tips will apply to other virtual interviews and conferences that can come from networking with employers.
InterviewStream is a great resource for you to practice common interview questions. You can even record your answers and send them to trusted advisors for feedback.