Virtual career fair tips
Learn tips from Business Career Services to make the most of your virtual career fair experience.
Many career fairs are moving online in light of COVID-19, including the School of Business Accounting Career Fair and Business Career Fair. Like in-person career fairs, virtual career fairs provide both students and employers an opportunity to connect and interact.
While the basics of how to prepare for an in-person career fair can apply to a virtual career fair as well — researching companies beforehand, updating your resume and LinkedIn profile, and sending thank you notes afterward — there are a few strategies that may be different.
- Confirm details such as time (including the time zone), date, and login instructions. Registering for the career fair ahead of time can help with this because event software usually provides this information automatically.
- One of the most important steps is checking your technology to make sure it is working properly. No matter what device you are using, it is always a good idea to perform a dry run before the event by testing out your technology. Make sure that your software is downloaded with the newest version and that you have a reliable internet connection.
- Set up your device so that the camera is as close to eye-level as possible and try to be near a window (but not in front of one). Brighten your computer screen, or turn on a lamp, so that your face is well-lit.
During the fair
- Consider using headphones to drown out external noises when conversing with others during the fair. Ensure the room is quiet and your background is not distracting. Position yourself in front of a blank wall, bookcase or a neutral picture. Some software even lets you download a virtual background to hide a distracting background. Silence your phone and let others know that you will be meeting with employers so there are no interruptions.
- Just like in a traditional career fair, you want to present yourself as a confident and competent job seeker. Strong body language and eye contact are key to a successful video chat. It is tempting to look around at the screen but this can make you appear distracted and flighty. Also, recruiters want to hire friendly people who are easy to get along with, so make sure you smile and avoid interrupting the speaker. Speak clearly and at a good rate. It’s always a good idea to wait a few seconds after the interview speakers to begin speaking yourself since technology can sometimes be delayed.
- Engagement is important during a virtual event. While it might be tempting to sit back and watch the fair happen, it’s important to put yourself out there and introduce yourselves to employers. Most likely, you will have about 5–10 minutes with each employer. Start the conversation with your elevator pitch and bring in questions that showcase your interest in learning more about the employer, but that can’t be answered with a simple internet search.
For more assistance preparing for a virtual career fair or interview, schedule an appointment with a career advisor here.