Kickstart the search for a career… and now, throw a world pandemic into that process.
With the surge of coronavirus cases, many universities are adjusting their career fairs to a virtual setting. Even with all the change that comes with shifting from in-person to virtual, the goal of these career fairs remains the same: we want to attract and acquire skilled students to meet our organizational needs.
These career fairs are similar to Microsoft Teams or Zoom breakout rooms where candidates rotate through rooms of the companies in attendance. They are fast paced with set time parameters before candidates are moved to different breakout rooms. Candidates and recruiters are up against the clock. If there has ever been a time to perfect your “elevator pitch,” now is the time!
As a recruiter and employer looking for people to join our Pegasus Family, we wanted to offer some tips for college graduates attending virtual career fairs.
6 Tips on Preparing for and Attending a Virtual Career Fair
- Be Yourself!
Recruiters want to meet the real you, not the version of you that you think we want to see. At Pegasus, we are a quirky group overall, so we certainly welcome and enjoy when we get to see personalities shine!
- Get Dressed!
Just because you are at home does not mean shorts and a t-shirt are acceptable attire. Treat this as you would an in-person event, which means dressing and behaving professionally for the duration of the event.
- Be Prepared!
If it is your first time using the virtual software for the event, do some research so you know what to expect. Log onto YouTube to find tutorials or watch the videos your school provides to help make you more confident the day of the event. Before the fair, also take the time to research the companies that will be in attendance. Brainstorm specific questions you want to ask the recruiters to show your interest.
- Check Out Your Environment!
It is easy to be distracted by your surroundings so set yourself up for success so you can engage with the recruiters. Turn on the lights and find a quiet area and background with minimal distractions. It is ok to kick a few people out of your room or house for the duration of the event if you need to avoid your roommate singing in the shower!
- Be Engaged!
Interviewing goes both ways. We are looking for the best candidates who are a fit to our organization. It is easy to be a wallflower in a virtual setting but don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions. Do not rely on the recruiter to drive the entire conversation; steer it where you want to go to find out if they are a good fit for you.
- Ask About the Culture!
When you are looking for a company, we encourage you to ask questions about the organization’s culture as it is just as important as the role itself. The average person will change job titles or organizations 15 times, but a company’s culture is a lot harder to change. Ask about career development, training programs, mentorship, and how they keep their employees engaged. The biggest salary offer may not be the best fit if you find their culture and work expectations do not line up with what you really want.