Today’s job seekers don’t have to navigate a crowded room for a chance to talk to their dream company. Virtual career fairs provide an efficient and direct opportunity to network with recruiters and professionals.
If you are new to virtual networking or wondering how to best prepare for a virtual career fair, read on for tips from Direct Supply’s Campus Recruiters Janet Lucas and Wade Krogwold who answer common questions and offer helpful expert advice.
Virtual Career Fair Questions Answered by Recruiters
Are virtual career fairs worth it?
If you’re actively looking for a job or internship opportunity, yes! Virtual career fairs allow for deeper connections with company representatives than a normal career fair does. You get the chance to ask more specific questions about a company, its culture and open roles.
- 30-minute large group sessions are best for general information about the organization. These sessions allow job seekers to get a feel for the company from someone who works there. Student freshmen and sophomores may also be able to find out if the company hires at their school level.
- 10-minute one-on-one sessions are beneficial for job seekers and students if they are planning on applying. A one-on-one may give additional insight into how an interview would be at the organization. The individualized time with a recruiter also grants time to ask more questions.
How should I prepare for a virtual career fair?
Job seekers can best prepare for virtual career fair by doing their research. We recommend going on Handshake and LinkedIn to review open positions and see what companies are attending the career fair. Come to group and one-on-one sessions prepared with specific questions. Have a polished personal statement or elevator pitch that describes why you’re interested and qualified.
What should I wear for a virtual career fair?
Even if a career fair is virtual, you should still wear professional attire. At Direct Supply, this means a button-up shirt, but not necessarily a tie for men. For women, a blouse or button-up shirt is a great choice. Think about what you would wear to an interview. Dressing to impress makes a good first impression at a virtual job fair and for students, helps showcase the transition to a professional in the eyes of a recruiter or session leader.
How can I stand out during a virtual career fair?
Job seekers stand out the most by going beyond surface-level research on a company. Good questions to ask are ones that combine your research with topics you are interested in learning more about. Showcase your problem-solving skills, initiative and preparedness through your queries.
For example, asking “What has your company done to help your customers during the pandemic?” connects a current event with our focus on Senior Living. You can stand out by turning your research into thoughtful questions.
What do companies look for during a virtual career fair?
Companies and recruiters want to see job seekers with a “spark.” They want to meet someone who is enthusiastic about the role and organization and demonstrates drive. Be prepared to showcase what inspires you about the company and job.
Virtual job and career fairs aren’t interviews. The company representative isn’t going to do all the talking – they want to leave that to you. Have a list of questions and start thinking about how to wrap up the conversation mid-way through. Have a final, memorable statement about yourself or ask for contact information to follow up with the company representative.
Top 5 Virtual Job Fair Tips & Takeaways
1. Confidently ask questions
Before any sessions, do research on the company. There’s always a variety of prepared questions you can ask at a virtual career fair. Some example topics include the person’s background, career paths, company culture, the profession and any specific questions that would allow the recruiter to share their perspective.
2. Communicate what you’re good at
As a job applicant, you know your strengths and weaknesses the best. Have a sense of what you’re good at and be able to communicate it. Your experience doesn’t always have to be in a job field. Sometimes, it’s better to reference transferable skills that make you a good fit for a role. If you are a student, your intended major doesn’t fully describe you as an individual. To think about transferable skills, ask yourself questions like, “Why did I choose my major?” or “What do I want to do with my major long term after I graduate?”
3. Follow up with companies
If a company or a specific role really catches your attention, it’s important to follow up with the recruiter or representative. Career fairs are wonderful virtual networking events. In your follow-up, be sure to mention that you met the company representative at the career fair and draw on what interested you most.
4. Be respectful
During the virtual event, don’t forget to be respectful. During a session, be careful not to talk over other attendees. Also, beware of the representative’s body language and eye contact. Note if they are actively engaged or if they are silently indicating they need to move to the next conversation. Finally, after a session, be sure to thank the recruiters and presenters for their time.
5. Close the conversation
While attending a virtual career fair session, plan how you want to close the conversation. If it was good and the company sparked your interest, ask for the recruiter’s contact information. Be sure to let them know why you’re asking.
Direct Supply Internships & Careers
Join our campus recruiters, Wade and Janet, and put their virtual career fair advice to the test at a session with Direct Supply. Connect with us on LinkedIn or Handshake for the latest news and information on upcoming career fairs. To see available internships and roles, check out our opportunities.