By Lyndsey (Koch) Keiswetter, Talent Acquisition Specialist, Insight Global, LLC | Contact: Lyndsey.Koch@insightglobal.com
As you know, this career fair season will be different in more ways than one, but what’s important to remember is we are all going through this together. Employers are learning the virtual world just as students are. While we will not be physically face-to-face this career fair season, there are still steps you can take to optimize your experience, and make the most out of your virtual career fair season.
1- Resume / LinkedIn Profile: LinkedIn has changed the game for both job seekers and employers. It is the number one tool employers use to seek new talent, and it is important to have your LinkedIn profile and resume updated before career fair season. Be sure to use a professional photo along with listing all of your involvement, including extra-curricular activities on-campus, and showcase your strengths and the value you can add to a company. Also, add preferences to your desired jobs/locations. Live chat in the CPDC’s Virtual Career Studio (M-F, 2-7pm) or email your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org to get help with your resume!
2- Do Research: Prior to the career fairs, it is important to do research on the different companies that will be attending each one. Time is of the essence, and since you are not able to “walk by” companies that look intriguing, it is up to you to make sure you are optimizing your time with companies in which you are most interested. Make a list, do research, and prioritize which ones you’d like to spend the most time with/which align most with your desired career path. This will allow you to stay organized and maximize time with specific employers.
3- Test your technology!: We are living in a virtual world right now, and we need to do everything we can in order to prevent “technical difficulties”! So, TEST YOUR TECHNOLOGY! Download relevant platforms on your desktop/laptop (Handshake, Zoom, Webex, Microsoft Teams, etc.) and trial run them with someone to ensure your video/audio work to limit any unexpected “surprises” on the day of the fairs. Feeling comfortable and confident with these different platforms will allow you to be fully present and engaged with employers.
4- Sell yourself, but don’t forget to have a personal touch: I’m sure you all have been working on an “elevator pitch” prior to the career fairs since time with employers is limited during the fairs, but I want to remind you that adding a personal touch to your “pitch” is so important. Building personal rapport with employers right off the bat will only help you stand out. So, before diving into what your major is, and everything you are involved with on campus, ask the employer, how is their day going? How has the transition to the virtual world been for them so far? As I mentioned before, we are all in this together, and employers are feeling the same types of nerves/uncertain feelings as you are. Starting off your meeting on a sincere note to connect with employers will allow both of you to be more comfortable and engaged!
I am confident that this career fair season will be just as impactful and beneficial as the ones in the past, and I’m so excited to meet you all next week! If you haven’t already, be sure to register in Handshake before the upcoming Virtual Career & Internship Fair & Virtual Social Impact Career Expo on 9/29 so you don’t miss them!