Get Ready for Virtual Career Fairs
GET READY FOR VIRTUAL CAREER FAIRS
By Stuart Esrock, Ph.D.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many aspects of our lives to change and in many cases, to move online. One more impact for students will be that career fairs all across the country are transitioning this fall from face-to-face to the online/virtual environment, including here at UofL. But with a little preparation, you can take advantage of these events.
Like a face-to-face career fair, the virtual version is a recruiting event for employers to meet with potential employees and interns. Students can use career fairs to learn about current and future opportunities, and to get a sense of the culture of multiple organizations in which they might have an interest.
In a virtual career fair, you’ll have the opportunity to meet with a variety of employers in an online chat room to present your resume, ask questions, learn about the organization and their mission, find out about opportunities and how to apply. In addition to individual conversations, some employers will offer virtual group information meetings during the career fair.
The director of the UofL University Career Center, Bill Fletcher, said it is important for students to register in advance for virtual career fairs. “You should register so that you can then sign up for individual meetings with employers. While many employers will have drop-in meeting times available, you can be sure to have the opportunity to meet with the employers you are interested in by signing up in advance.” Students should plan their time at the virtual career fair by targeting their top employers with which to meet.
In some regards, Fletcher advises students to prepare for a virtual career fair in exactly the same way they would prepare for a face-to-face career fair. That means updating your resume in advance, and writing/practicing your introductory “elevator speech” that describes yourself and what you are looking for. You will also want to make a list of questions to ask employers and plan to dress professionally as if you were meeting the recruiters in person.
Beyond what you would do for a face-to-face career fair, Fletcher said students need to account for the technology that will be used. “We all know that anything that can go wrong with technology will go wrong. So, test your equipment in advance. And be sure to pay attention to the room you will be in during the virtual career fair. It should be free of distractions with good lighting and an appropriate, neutral kind of background.”
We will have more on virtual career fairs in upcoming articles. Here’s a list of the upcoming UofL virtual career fairs.
Speed School of Engineering Career Fair - September 11
Ulmer Career Center School of Business Career Fair - October 9
University Career Center:
- Nursing Career Fair - September 8
- Fall Internship & Career Fair (all majors) - September 30
- Graduate & Professional School Fair - October 14
- Holiday Job Fair - Thursday, November 5
For more information about these events, contact your career center:
- Engineering students: https://engineering.louisville.edu/academicresources/careerservices/
- Business students: https://business.louisville.edu/career-support/
- All other UofL students: http://louisville.edu/career