Depending on the platform, virtual career fairs can feel similar to online discussion boards or they can be like live Zoom meeting sessions where employers can schedule the meeting in advance and talk via online video. For the online discussion board type, after you log in, you can choose to “enter” various rooms within the virtual career fair. Each room houses a different employer participating in the career fair. When you enter a virtual room, the employer receives a notification. At that point a representative from the employer will greet you via a chat function. Make sure you reciprocate the greeting. For the live meeting sessions like Handshake @ Illinois uses, you will have the opportunity to meet the recruiter for a one to one 10-minute session or groups sessions.
You’re going to want to register beforehand. For the Handshake @ Illinois fairs, you will have specified 10-minute sessions that you can register for. If you don't see a spot for you, keep looking! Spots open up regularly as new staff are added to the fair. It is also important to register early so that you can troubleshoot any issues before the career fair, and it will allow you to review the employers participating in the fair.
Test your devices/wifi before the fair. It is preferable to have camera capabilities for a virtual career fair. Be sure to download necessary software for the fair a day in advance. In this way, you will have enough time to troubleshoot any issues. Consider using headphones to ensure a quiet and quality conversation.
Pro tip: Do a dry run (practice logging in) the day before the virtual career fair to ensure smooth actual fair experience
A quiet location is ideal for quality interaction. If you have camera capabilities, you need to make sure it is distraction-free for employers. Some students make the mistake of having the camera too low – place your laptop on a box or elevate it in some way so that the camera is actually at eye-level. Conversely – cameras pointing to ceiling tiles is also distracting
Pro-tip: You can set your background in a zoom call with a different room so you appear more professional.
Go to: Settings -> In Meeting (Advanced) and then enable Virtual background
While you are on a Zoom meeting, you can find a “Choose a virtual background” button on the Video setting tap located left bottom.
For curated tips try these resources:
Blog: Tips for Success at Virtual Recruiting Events
Help Article: Handshake's Guide to Attending a Virtual Career Fair
Instagram Video: Virtual Fairs - Your ticket to getting hired.
Webinar: Get the Most Out of Your Virtual Fair
There is no one way to write a resume. Some general rules are:
For additional ideas, below are some resume resources:
Blogs: How to create a Student Resume and The Career Center Sample Resumes (Note: for students with a lot of experience, the first sample from the TCC is not a good choice - it wastes too much room when you flush the content right.)
ACES Career Services offers resume reviews during drop-in hours.
Make a list of companies you want to talk to at the Career Fair. Research these companies to learn their product line, their locations, and what positions the company is seeking to fill. Determine how you can add value to their organization. Practice delivering your introduction to an employer including some of your research.
Ways to do company research:
Visit the ACES Career Services office during drop-in hours to learn more about how to conduct employer research.
The Career Fair is all about making good first impressions, so how you appear to recruiters is very important. Even if the fair is virtual, you still need to feel great and look professional (at least from your camera view.)
Visit Handshake @ Illinois to find information about Career Fair Prep Workshops and Employer Information Sessions.