It is careers fairs season and this year both of our fairs will be held virtually using Handshake. A virtual fair is a little different to an on campus fair so this will blog will explain how to get started and how to get the best out of the fair.
How will it work on the day?
Once you are registered you will be able to see the available sessions you can attend at the fair. Each employer will be offering group sessions and/or individual one to one appointments. Registering for the fair alone will not provide access to these so you need to sign up for the sessions you are interested in and will be available for. Do this now while there is plenty of choice because spaces are limited.
On the day, you’ll be able to join the sessions you signed up for via the Your Schedule tab on the fair page where you will see a blue join video button. Before joining you will have the chance to review your audio and video before clicking Join Now to proceed.
What to do before the fair
Prepare! If you can take a few steps to prepare before the fair you will get a lot more out of it, so try to complete some, if not all of the steps below:
Update your Handshake profile
Add details of your experience, skills and interests to your profile. If you have an up to date CV, you can add this to the documents section on your Handshake profile and make it visible so that an employer can see it. Watch our short video below for an explanation of how to update your profile
Research the companies who will be at the fair
By doing some research into the companies attending the fair, you can really make the most out of the opportunity to meet them. Researching a company might involve looking at their website and reading the company values or looking at their social media feeds. Have they been in the news lately or has their industry been featured in the news? Look at their Handshake profile, sometimes these include reviews from people who have worked for them. Similarly, sites like Glassdoor and The Job Crowd feature company profiles and reviews
Have some questions prepared
Doing your research will probably lead on to you having some good questions to ask at the fair. These may be around company culture, the recruitment process, skills that are valued by the company for example. Try to avoid questions that could be answered by reading the company website.
Check your tech
Sessions will take place on Handshake and to interact with the employer you will need to make sure you have audio and video facility. You will be able to log in and check that your video and audio work from 10 minutes before your session is due to start. Make sure your device is fully charged, you don’t want to be cut off mid chat!
Ensure you have a quiet space with good WiFi
Plan ahead and make sure you can use somewhere quiet and with a stable internet connection.
Ensure you have everything you need close by
You might want some paper and a pen for making notes or for prompts for questions you want to ask of the employer. Have a glass of water nearby too.
Good luck on the day. Make the most of these sessions and come prepared. Listed below are some further resources to help you prepare