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The Virtual Career Fair Guide: How to Prepare and Make the Most of Online Career Fairs

Fall is here and we all know what that means… No, we’re not talking about Pumpkin Spice Lattes and trips to the apple orchard (though we love those too!). The start of fall means career fairs are just around the corner.

Of course, like most things in 2020, career fairs are going to look a little different this year. Instead of on campus fairs held at colleges and universities across the country, career fairs are going virtual.

For those used to in-person career events like employer Q&A sessions and networking opportunities, you’re probably wondering, what is a virtual career fair? While the format can vary depending on the size and audience, most virtual career fairs take place at a specified time, similar to a webinar. They usually include online info sessions with employers and the opportunity to meet via video in chat rooms or during scheduled one-on-one interviews.

There are some big benefits to online career fairs, including no geographic limits, access to more employers, increased networking opportunities, and in some cases accelerated hiring. On the other hand, for those who prefer to highlight their skills and impress employers in person, the shift to virtual formats might not be ideal. There’s also the potential for technical issues and communication challenges that don’t exist at in-person fairs.

Due to the ongoing pandemic and limits on in-person gatherings, virtual career fairs are likely for the foreseeable future. That’s why we’re here to help you prepare for this new reality with our Virtual Career Fair Guide. Follow along as we review what you need to do to put your best (virtual) foot forward.

1 – 2 Weeks Before the Career Fair

You’ve signed up for your school’s virtual career fair. Now what? It’s time to start preparing. Waiting until the last minute to get your materials together is a recipe for a poor experience and missed opportunities. Instead, start preparing one to two weeks ahead of time so you know you have the most important items ready to go.

Do the Research

Prepare Your Questions

Update Your Resume

Clean Up Your Communication

1 – 2 Days Before the Fair

With those big tasks like company research and resume rewrites out of the way, the day or two before your virtual career fair should be dedicated to the technical details. These are still crucial to your overall experience and success at the event but taking care of them closer to the fair date will give you the best results.

Test Your Tech

Check Your Setup

Practice Your Intro

The Day of the Fair

Your virtual career fair is finally happening! Here’s what you need to do the day of to make sure you stand out from the crowd in the best way possible.

Dress to Impress

Put Yourself Out There

Follow-Up ASAP

As soon as the fair has wrapped up, it’s a good idea to start making your follow-up plans.

Capitalize on the excitement and momentum the fair inspired and keep going. The more proactive you are post-fair, the more likely you are to be remembered by potential employers and the better your chances of landing that first job after college that will change your life.

Ready to make the most of your virtual career fairs this fall? Put your skills to the test and join IDR at the virtual fairs we’re attending or apply to join the IDR team today!


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