[Courtesy of Umass Lowell] UMass Lowell has moved career fairs online in response to being remote this semester.
As everything moves online, it should be no surprise that career fairs have followed suit and are now virtual. The Career and Co-op Center has been hard at work scheduling virtual career fairs throughout the semester.
Career fairs can positively impact your ability to find a career in your desired field. However, they can only help if you are willing to put the time and effort into understanding how to get the most out of the career fairs.
The first tip for career fair preparation is to register for the fair in advance. If you wait to register, you may end up late and missing out on chances to meet with every employer on your list.
The second tip is to use your online resources. This means having an updated LinkedIn profile for potential employers to see, going on Handshake to see what employers will attend the career fair, and creating a virtual career fair profile on Handshake. Knowing what companies will be in attendance can help you better prepare for which companies you want to speak with.
The third tip is to update your resume. A resume should include your name, email, phone number, position, education, career experience, skills and certifications. If you schedule an appointment with the Career and Co-op Center, they will help make sure your resume is professional and appropriate.
The fourth tip is to prepare your elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a 30-second introduction of who you are, what type of employment you are looking for (internship, full-time, part-time or seasonal), and what interests you about the company. Each company should receive an altered version of your elevator pitch to meet their differences.
The fifth and final tip for career fair preparation is to test your technology ahead of time. About an hour or so before the career fair begins, make sure to check your internet, video connections, and audio connections.
While at the career fair, even when it is virtual, students should be dressed professionally in business casual and have their resumes easily distributable and ready to go. The space around you should also look neat and organized as that is the space the recruiters will be viewing.
Even though the fair is virtual, treat it as though it is not. You should be looking at your camera when speaking as a form of eye contact, smiling to show you are interested in the discussion, and sitting up straight.
After the career fair, write follow-up emails to any companies you spoke with. A follow-up email should include your name, phone number, how you met them, any follow-up questions or comments, and a thank you to them for meeting with you.
The schedule for the career fairs can be found here.