Have you ever attended a career fair? If so, you know the routine:
- Research companies of interest
- Dress professionally
- Print multiple copies of your resume on high-quality resume paper to give to employers
- Practice your smile, your firm (but not too firm) handshake, and your elevator speech
What if you could skip the last 3 items on the list above? Well, you can. A virtual career fair takes place entirely online so you won’t need to perfect your handshake just yet. Employers, usually hiring managers or recruiters, are available in chat rooms to meet you online, ask questions about your experiences, and answer questions you might have about open positions. When you participate in a virtual career fair you become part of a smaller pool of applicants and have the advantage of “meeting” many employers from the comfort of your own location.
The Minnesota Private Colleges Career Consortium will host a Virtual Career Fair & Grad School Fair THIS FRIDAY, October 17th. Nearly 30 employers and over 50 graduate programs have registered to “attend.”
How to Prepare
Do your research. Check out the list of employers and grad schools participating, then go to their website to view opportunities, learn about their leadership, clients served and/or products delivered.
Update your resume and have it reviewed. Ideally, tailor your resume to the position(s) you are seeking. Name the company and position in the objective, pay attention to skills sought by those employers and mention how you have used those skills in your work/volunteer/leadership experiences.
Save a copy of your resume(s) as a pdf on your desktop so you are able to quickly email it off to recruiters to discuss in real time.
Have your introduction ready. You may not have to deliver your 30-second elevator speech, but you should have something similar for an online format. When will you graduate? What are you studying? What types of experiences and skills do your have that will benefit the company?
Check your internet connection. Turn off your notifications and make sure your battery is fully charged.
Follow-up. Send an email to the recruiter to thank them for their time at the virtual career fair and reiterate your interest in any positions of interest.
Keep in mind that some employers at virtual career fairs will request to video chat. In that case, be sure to dress professionally, have a clean and uncluttered background, and smile!
Stop in to the Career Development Center during Pop-In hours this week for quick resume reviews and answers to your other questions about virtual career fairs.
For more information and to register, check out the MPCCC Virtual Career Fair and Grad School Fair website, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 770-980-0088.