All the career and internship fairs at UNO are virtual this semester. I attended my first virtual fair this week at the Business and IT Career & Internship Fair, and the experience was a bit different than I had expected.
My Experience at the Fair
As a senior in my last semester at UNO, I am currently job seeking for a full-time position after graduation. I've been to a few in-person career fairs on campus, so a virtual fair was something really new for me. Before the fair, I wasn't completely sure what to expect or how my conversations with recruiters would go, so I signed up for a one-on-one session and a few group sessions.
"I really enjoy the virtual career fair experience. It allows me greater flexibility all from the comfort of my home. I was able to connect with even more employers than I usually do at a traditional in-person career fair." - CBA Economics Student
My one-on-one session went really well. Video and audio quality was great, and I was able to get a good sense of the company and chat with the recruiter about open positions. The recruiter and I were able to effectively connect because of the nature of the virtual one-on-one sessions. No one else was in our virtual chat room, so we had each other's undivided attention for 10 minutes. While this might not seem like a lot of time, if you know what you are looking for, 10 minutes turns out to be plenty of time. If you are a student, think about what you want to get out of the virtual fair before your sessions. This will help you get all the information you need.
The group sessions usually started with some sort of presentation about the company. Some companies included positions for which they were currently hiring, while others focused more on projects and company history. Most recruiters left plenty of time at the end of the session for participants to ask any questions they had. I found these sessions really beneficial because some students asked questions that I hadn't thought of. The recruiters I met with gave me their contact information, so I was able to follow-up after the virtual event ended.
"I was pretty nervous about how a virtual career fair would be, but I actually really enjoyed it! It was super convenient that I was able to plan out the exact companies I was going to meet with. The 10 minute session with the employer was the perfect amount of time. I will definitely attend another virtual career fair!" -CBA Marketing Student
Tips to Prepare for Virtual Career Fairs
Dress business professional or business casual. Though it is tempting to hang out in sweats or pajamas, dressing to impress will not only leave a good first impression with the recruiter, but it can also help you to get in a more "professional" mindset to be mentally prepared for the fair.
Think about what you want out of this fair. Are you currently looking for a position? What kinds of aspects are important to you in a potential employer? Do you want to be able to work from home? Asking yourself these questions before meeting with a recruiter will help you to make the most of the time you have during your sessions.
Check your technology. Make sure your device has a webcam and microphone. The virtual career fairs are hosted on Handshake, so all you need is a stable internet connection and updated browser. If you are not sure if you have the tech requirements to participate in the fair, email ACDC at email@example.com.
Update your résumé. ACDC has recently expanded résumé review services to better serve UNO students and graduates. You can now make an online appointment on Handshake or submit your résumé to be reviewed by a career services advisor.
Consider updating your networking profiles. You already have a Handshake profile, and recruiters will be looking at your profile more during the virtual fairs as compared to in-person fairs. Make sure all your information on your profile is up-to-date, and if you want some feedback, ACDC will review your profile!