By Kate Labriola-Gorentz
Assistant Director, Career Development – Chatham University
We all know that Fall looks a bit different this year. Campus gatherings and in person classes are replaced by Zoom networking events and online projects. It might take a moment to get used to, but we all understand the importance of shifting gears and figuring out new ways to learn and grow. It is just as important to have this mindset about job and internship fairs. These opportunities are still just as important in the career search as before and there are plenty of outlets for you to find the dream position. Your “A” Game might be even more important now that you’ll be meeting potential employers on a computer screen from the comfort of your home. Here are some quick tips to help you prep, look the part and maximize your time during a virtual fair!
- Update Your Resume
Make sure your resume is clean, updated and in order. You can always set up an appointment with your Career Development team on your campus to have it reviewed before sharing with employers! Then make sure you have a digital copy ready to submit to employers. A good tip is to have it saved as a PDF so there aren’t any issues with re-formatting!
- Research Companies
Know ahead of time who you would like to make an appointment with to meet and then, find out who they are! Research the organization’s website, as well as other resources like business journals, online news sources and social media. Also be sure to check out the company on LinkedIn. You might even find the people you’ll be speaking with during the fair!
- Introductions are Key!
Make an introduction that highlights your strengths. Include you education, some of your goals and your skillset. And of course, during the introduction and through the duration of your time speaking with each company, be polite, professional and courteous.
- Dress for Success
Just because you’re sitting in your living room doesn’t mean you should dress appropriately for the fair. Follow the standard guidelines for professional dress – suit, plain blouse or shirt, neat hair, simple makeup. Don’t do the Corona Mullet look of wearing work attire on top and casual on the bottom either. Do the full look and rest assured, that extra confidence boost will follow!
- Be Prepared!
Check your internet connection ahead of time, practice what you are going to say and use the information you found researching the company you’re speaking with! Make sure to also test the camera and see if you are framed appropriately, i.e. – no up the nose shots or backgrounds that show off your favorite LeBron poster! And lastly, make sure all your paperwork is prepared and loaded correctly, and that you also have a printed copy of any company resources and a version of your resume ready to reference beside you.
- Utilize Every Minute
You should expect a limited amount of time with each employer. Make sure you have questions prepared geared toward each employer you speak with. Utilize the time to get the information you need while also showcasing what you have to offer the organization.
- Send Thank You Notes
This is so very important, whether in person or virtual. Make sure you take the time to collect contact information and send a thank you note after your meeting. An emailed thank you is OK!
If you think you’re ready to dive into a Virtual Fair, check out this great opportunity below! We look forward to seeing you there!