How do I prepare for a Career Fair?
Register for the fair.
Registering for both in-person and virtual fairs will ensure you get updates and reminders about the event.
For virtual fairs you will also want to join a group or individual session - more on this below...
Research participating organizations.
Take some time to review the employers and organizations that are attending the fair. Read about their organization and any open positions they are actively recruiting to fill, or research details about their programs of study. Look to see if they are offering individual or group sessions at an upcoming virtual fair & then sign up!
Update your Handshake profile.
Some employers will be researching candidates ahead of time by browsing Handshake profiles. Based on that information, they will invite students and alums to attend individual sessions. Make sure that your profile is up to date and that your profile visibility is set to Community or Public so that employers can discover you and have an accurate sense of who you are. Include relevant experiences and update your Career Interests survey so that employers know what your goals and interests are.
Update your resume.
Including a resume on your profile or offering to share your resume with a recruiter is another great way to stand out during the virtual fair. Make an appointment to speak with a Career Counselor or request an online document review for help drafting and revising your resume.
Practice your pitch.
When it comes time to meet with a recruiter, how will you introduce yourself? Be ready to answer questions like: Why are you interested in the company? What types of positions are you seeking? How is your previous work experience relevant? Also think about what questions you plan on asking the representatives. Practing ahead will help you be more comfortable and confident. Drop-by to speak with a peer leader for help in crafting & practicing your personal pitch. And check out Handshake's tips for preparing for preparing your virtual career fair pitch.
Other helpful tips:
Dress to impress, be distraction-free, ask if the employers would like to connect via LinkedIn, and always follow up with the recruiters you spoke with to say thanks and let them know if you are applying.
Preparing for VIRTUAL Career Fairs
In addition to the applicable steps above, you should also...
Register for employer sessions ahead of time.
You’re going to want to register for group information sessions and one on one conversations with employers prior to the start of the fair. These sessions are the primary way to connect with employers on the day of fair. Group information sessions will typically include a presentation by the employer, followed by a question and answer period. They will be attended by other UVM students, too. Individual sessions will just be you and a recruiter. Begin thinking about what questions you have about the company and the positions they are hiring for - especially if you are signed up for a one on one conversation. Check out Handshake's tips for individual sessions with employers.
Make sure your technology is ready to go.
While it is preferable to have video capabilities in case an employer would like to speak with you face to face, you don’t necessarily have to have a device with a camera to participate in the fair. Check out Handshake's tech requirements here.
Familiarize yourself with how the day of the fair will run.
On the day of the fair, you will log in to Handshake and easily have access to your schedule for the day via a tab that reads "Your Session". The sessions that you signed up for ahead of time will appear with a button that indicates "Join Now" or "Launch Video" depending on the session type. Check out Handshake's guide to participating in a virtual fair.