Getting ready for a career fair – whether in-person or virtual – takes preparation. To help you capture the attention of recruiters at the Virtual 2020 Spring Career Fair on Thursday, March 12, check out the tips below.
Research Companies and Open Positions
Before the fair, review the list of employers and available positions. You can find this information by exploring each organization’s website and by conducting an online search for recent news about each company. Doing this research ahead of time will help you have a more engaging conversation about why you’re a good fit for the position and/or company. Also remember that employers’ needs are always changing, so reviewing job openings up to the day of the fair may help better drive your conversations with recruiters.
Prepare an Introduction
You should decide how you are going to introduce yourself to potential employers prior to the fair. Your goal is to capture a recruiter’s attention with your elevator pitch. It should include who you are, an interesting fact about your background or experience, and a comment or question specific to the employer or job posting.
To prepare ahead of time, write out your introduction and have a copy available on the day of the fair for you to reference. For more tips on crafting your introduction, watch The Elevator Pitch.
Engage with Recruiters
Just like at any other career fair, during the virtual career fair you’ll want to keep your conversations focused and professional. Because your conversations will take place online through written communication, avoid emoticons and texting acronyms and watch for typos. Remember to be patient when waiting for a response from a recruiter, because with questions coming from other job seekers simultaneously, it may take some time for them to respond to you.
Fine-Tune Your Resume
Review and update your resume prior to the event to ensure it highlights the skills and experience relevant to your desired opportunities. And of course, proofread for grammar and spelling errors; two great tools for this are VMock and Resume Builder, both of which you can use with your CareerQuest profile.
After the Event
During the fair, remember to collect the contact information of anyone you communicated with so you can send a thank you note afterwards. When writing the note, reference something from your conversation that will remind the recruiter who you are. If they instructed you to take a specific action, (apply for a position or reach out to another recruiter, for example), complete that action and then let them know you fulfilled the request.
Success at a virtual career fair does require planning, but you don’t need to overthink it! Simply remember to research, prepare, engage, and then follow up.
As always, keep in mind UMGC’s Career Services is here to help you achieve success at the upcoming virtual career fair and beyond. Set up an appointment with a UMGC Career Advising Specialist or visit CareerQuest for additional resources.
Carla Jones, MBA is a career advising specialist and adjunct assistant professor at University of Maryland Global Campus. She has experience working in both for-profit and non-profit environments, having served in a number of different leadership roles. Ms. Jones enjoys utilizing her experiences and expertise to assist individuals with career planning strategies.