7 Tips for Rocking Virtual Job Fairs
We live in an increasingly virtual world – Teams Classes, Teams Social Get togethers, Teams naps…and now Virtual Job Fairs. It’s enough to make your head spin, and since we’re for sure starting to see 1’s and 0’s instead of real-life objects, we thought we’d check in with the Career Center on how best to lean into the digital dive, make an epic splash with recruiters, and find ourselves and epic job or internship in the process.
So strap yourselves in – here are the seven best ways you can prepare for (and engage with) a virtual fair and set yourself up for success.
Pro Tip: If you ever get lost, stuck, or frustrated the Career Center is always ready to help! Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment in Handshake or send them an email at [email protected] with any questions; and they swoop in to set you right.
1. Register Fair.
Okay, Okay…this one is less a tip, and more just plain common sense. Before you can rock a virtual job fair you’ve got to register for one. Log in to Handshake with your UVM NetID and password, click Register, and relax. Step one, complete! Doesn’t it feel good to check something off your list?
2. Research Participating Orgs.
With registration out of the way, it’s time to move on to what you hope to get out of the event. Take some time to review the list of employers who are participating and see if any jump out to you as particularly exciting. Find some you like? Dig a bit deeper and read up on their organization (and if they have any open positions they are actively looking to fill). Take note of any that stand out to you are offering individual or group sessions during the fair. Researching the folks you want to talk to ahead of time will make you look like a rockstar when you meet with them – and it’ll help energize you for the extroversion ahead.
3. Register for sessions ahead of time.
Take your notes of who you you’re excited to chat with and start creating a schedule. The nice thing about virtual job fairs is that you don’t have to share your time with crowds of people in a noisy ballroom – group information sessions will be less intimidating, and 1-on-1 sessions are just you and the recruiter. The trade-off is, you have to do a bit more pre-planning.
Take a moment to register for group information sessions and 1 on 1 conversations with employers prior to the start of the fair (the sooner the better). These sessions are how you’ll be connecting with employers the day of fair. Group information sessions will typically include a presentation by the employer, followed by a question and answer period – you’ll be hanging out in a digital room with UVM students, too. Individual sessions will just be you and a recruiter.
Pro Tip: Check out this this career center video for tips on how to set yourself up for success at the fair during these different sessions:
4. Update your profile.
This tip is great even for non-Virtual Job Fair weeks; but it must be said. Update your dang Handshake profile! Some employers will be researching candidates ahead of time by browsing Handshake profile – and if you want to wow them your info should be up-to-date. This not only helps you like like an organized, hirable, human – but it logistically allows recruiters to invite students and alums to attend individual sessions in advance.
Make sure your profile visibility is set to Community or Public so that employers can find and read more about you; and be sure to include relevant experiences along with an updated Career Interests survey so that employers know what your goals and interests are.
5. Update your resume.
Including a resume on your profile or offering to share your resume with a recruiter is another great way to stand out during the virtual fair. Make an appointment to speak with a UVM Career Counselor or request an online document review for help drafting and revising your resume.
6. Practice your pitch.
But…not your singing pitch. You know. Unless that’s the kind of job you’re looking to get. Think about how you’re going to talk about yourself when it comes time to meet with a recruiter. How will you introduce yourself? Why are you interested in the company and how will you express that to them? What types of positions are you seeking and why are you a great for them? How is your previous work experience relevant? What questions do you plan on asking the representatives at the virtual career fair?
You’ll want to spend some time thinking about questions like these so you’re ready to answer them without hesitation when talking to a recruiter. Feeling comfortable about all of these things will make you more comfortable and confident in the moment – and help you stand out amongst all the folks they’ll be seeing that day.
Pro Tip: Speak with a Career Counselor for guidance in crafting your personal pitch.
7. Test your Tech.
Give your tech a test-run and make yourself “camera-ready”. Know that while it is great to have a working webcam case an employer would like to speak with you face to face, you don’t necessarily have to have a device with a camera to participate in the fair. If you’re not technologically-minded, it’s best to check it all out ahead of time. The Career Center has all the tech requirements listed here – and this handy vid:
Some Other helpful tips: Dress to impress, be distraction-free, ask if the employers would like to connect via LinkedIn, and always follow up with the recruiters you spoke with to say thanks and let them know if you are applying.
7. Know the Schedule.
On the day of the fair, you will log in to Handshake and easily have access to your schedule for the day via a tab that reads “Your Session”. The sessions that you signed up for ahead of time will appear with a button that indicates “Join Now” or “Launch Video” depending on the session type. Check out Handshake’s guide to participating in a virtual fair.
Good luck! Remember that the Career Center is always here to support you as you prepare for the fair. Send us an email at [email protected] with any questions or schedule an appointment in Handshake to speak with a Career Counselor. May the odds be ever in your favor.