I know, I know, you're tired of the phrase "the new normal." So am I. However, we can't deny that things that we didn't even know about last year are now part of our every-day life. Take virtual career fairs, for example. In all my years of working in career services, I had never coordinated a virtual career fair until Covid struck. Now, I've already had 2, and we have 3 more this semester.
What's a virtual career fair? Well, it can mean different things, depending on what platform a school is using. In our case, we are using Handshake, a platform that I hope many of you are familiar with. In Handshake's case, engagement with employers takes place after students sign up for 1-1 and group sessions. So, that means that you need to put some work in even before the fair. Here's a to-do list:
- Make sure that your Handshake profile is complete. Check for any inaccuracies in your class year, GPA, or anything else. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be changed.
- Click "register" on the Handshake fair page.
- Take a look at the employers who have registered. Check back frequently because we are receiving new registrations almost every day.
- Review the scheduled 1-1 sessions and group sessions. If a registered employer has not created their schedule yet, check back.
- Register for 10 minute 1-1 slots, and 30 minute group sessions. Be open-minded! Try to fill your schedule as much as possible so that you can engage with many employers. You can sign up for sessions up until the time of the session, but don't wait, some schedules will get filled before the day of the fair.
- Make sure that your resume is updated.
- Check your privacy settings in Handshake and be sure to have yours set to "community." That means that once you sign up with an employer, that employer can see your profile.
- Research the employers that you are meeting with.
- Plan what to wear, and we don't just mean from the waist down!
- Consider where you will be at the time of the fair. Do you have a quiet place? Will there be noise distractions?
- Test your audio and visual technology before the fair. We highly recommend using Chrome for our virtual fairs.
- Know that our office will have a Zoom room set up for any questions that you have during the fair.
- Participate in our Prepare For the Fair Career Conference on 9/28 (information on Handshake) to get your resume, job search and career fair questions answered. Plus, it will give you practice using the system!