Depending on the platform, virtual career fairs can feel similar to online discussion boards or they can be like live 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. Use this link if you want a short video demonstration of the CareerEco platform.
You’re going to want to register beforehand. Not only will this prevent any last minute hiccups before the career fair, but 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 in case an employer would like to speak with you face to face. However, you don’t necessarily have to have a device with a camera to be successful. 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.
Select appropriate attire.
Determine the location of the fair in advance and figure out logistics of getting to the fair.
Review employers who are attending and strategize which ones you will visit.
Ensure your abiltiy to attend - finish assignments ahead of time; organize work schedules around the fair time.
Practice your elevator pitch.
Apply for jobs before the fair so the employer knows you are interested.
Attend pre-career fair workshops.
Update your resume.
There is no one way to write a resume. Some general rules are:
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.
Visit Handshake @ Illinois to find information about Career Fair Prep Workshops and Employer Information Sessions.