Many Career And Job Fairs Have Now Gone Virtual
By Tyng Kam, Stride Career Prep Success Coach
Virtual career fairs are gaining popularity among job seekers and employers. Each virtual job fair is different, but you can generally connect with employers through live chat, group meetings, and one-on-one meetings. While the format is different, the approach is similar to attending an in-person job fair. Here are a few key similarities…
- You will introduce yourself and tell recruiters why you’re interested in them.
- You can participate in a group conversation, where recruiters share positions they are hiring for… and possible matches to your profile.
- You can ask targeted questions, to help you decide if the employer is offering something that fits your career goals.
- And, you can sign-up for one-on-one meetings with the companies that peak your interest the most.
Wondering how to make the most out of a virtual career fair? Here are some tips…
Register ahead of time
Almost all virtual job and career fairs require pre-registration to attend. Many organizers start engaging with registrants by sharing information and tips, right up to the day of the event. It’s helpful to register early, review the list of participating companies, identify employers you want to target, sign-up for group or one-on-one sessions, and attend the pre-event webinar. All of this will help you to get a glimpse of how everything will work on the day of the event.
Prepare your resume and update your Tallo profile for the career fair
Employers are likely to ask for your resume, or they may look up your Tallo profile during the fair. Make sure you prepare and polish your materials ahead of time. Your resume and Tallo profile should showcase your qualities, skills, competencies, and personality. Proofread your contents to make sure there are no typos or grammatical errors. Save your resume in PDF format and have it ready to share with employers. If you have a website, update it and plan to share it with employers during the event, as well. A website is a powerful tool for digital arts students to share their portfolios.
Stride Success Coaches support students in Stride K12-powered virtual public schools with resume help and Tallo profile building assistance. Find out who is your dedicated coach and set up a session with him/her.
Do your research about the virtual career fair
Attending a virtual fair is not all that different than attending an in-person one. You will not meet with all participating employers. Instead, you should review the employer list and identify who you want to meet during the event. For your list of targeted employers, perform your research to understand what the company does, its product and service offerings, and recent announcements and news. Employee reviews on sites like Glassdoor.com offer a lot of insights. You want to also think about why you would be a good fit for them. Additionally, this preparation offers some conversation starters during your one-on-one session with the company representative, and it helps make a strong first impression.
Prepare your “elevator pitch” for the career fair
An elevator pitch is a 30-second to a minute introduction about who you are, your profile highlights, why you are interested in a particular company, and the type of employment you are seeking. Employers attending job fairs for high school students typically offer internships, externships, immersion programs, competitions, and entry-level full-time positions for graduating seniors and recent graduates.
Locate a bright and quiet spot to set up your digital device, clean up the space visible to the camera during video calls, and dress professionally for the event. You want to test the internet, video, and audio connections ahead of time. It’s critical to make an impactful first impression, and how much effort you put into getting ready for the meeting reveals a lot about who you are as a candidate. A laptop or desktop computer is the preferred device, instead of a mobile phone, when attending a virtual fair. During the event, remember to smile. If you are using more than one screen, make sure you are looking into the camera when you are speaking, as well as when the other person is speaking, during any one-on-one meetings.
Interview the employer
A job fair is the best time to find out if the company you are considering is right for you. You will want to take the opportunity to ask targeted questions, that will help you decide if the company has offerings that match what you’re looking for in a job. You can prepare your questions for employers in many different professional subject areas.
Apply to jobs/internships right after the career fair
Submit your application(s) for any positions discussed during the event within 48 hours of completing the job fair. You can then send a follow-up email to the recruiters or representatives you met. Thank them for their time, express your continued interest, and let them know you applied for the position(s). You may also want to attach your resume to the email, for easy reference.
Bonus advice for the first-timer at a career fair
It takes some experience to learn to navigate a job or career fair. If this is your first time attending one, be sure to make it an immersive learning experience. Learn how to get into a group conversation when you enter the virtual room. Observe how recruiters and other participants behave, learn from them, and reflect on how you will handle various situations the next time you attend a virtual fair. The more you do it, the better you will become at navigating it.
Be sure to check out the registration page for the upcoming Stride Virtual Connection Event, HERE! It’s a virtual fair scheduled for December 7th, 2021!
To learn even more from our Stride Success Coaches, be sure to read the Finding Your Path article, for additional career advice.
And, to learn more about Stride Career Prep Success Coaching for teens and what it offers, be sure to visit this site: https://www.stridelearning.com/career-prep/career-exploration/student-success-coaching.html