Tips for Job Seekers Preparing for a Virtual Career Fair

UMUC’s Spring Career Fair registration is now open! Register to attend online on March 14.

Virtual career fairs are live, interactive, and held at specific times. If you are new to this way of connecting with employers, rest assured that it is a great use of your time. The benefits of attending an online job fair are that you do not have to worry about traveling to a destination, and your location will not hinder you from participating. You also have the opportunity to meet with potential employers and get your resume in front of multiple employers. To ensure success, you will need to prepare in advance. Here are six steps to follow to help you prior to the event:

Update your Resume. One of the steps you will need to take during registration is uploading your resume. Potential employers may view your resume before the event, so it is important to have a resume that is up to date and error-free. If you want your resume reviewed prior to the event, there are several tools you can use to help you. UMUC offers students and alumni access to career tools and resources to help polish your resume. VMOCK is a tool that uses algorithms to analyze your resume and offer specific feedback on ways to improve it. Resunate is a web-based software program that allows you to upload your resume and automatically evaluate and improve it based on which job description you provide. To get started using either of these tools, log into CareerQuest and visit the “Tools/Resources” section.

Research the companies. One of the most important steps in the preparation process is spending time learning about the employers participating in the career fair. Visit the company websites to learn more about them, identify job openings you are interested in, and prepare questions for the employers you want to meet.

Get your house in order. Many platforms have the capability to use video chat. An employer may invite you to a video chat. To prepare for that situation, be sure to tidy up the space from the vantage point of your camera.

Dress Professionally. Take this event seriously. Wear your most professional attire in case you interact with an employer through video.

Prepare your elevator pitch. It is important to make a good first impression. A good pitch should answer three questions: Who are you? What do you do? What are you looking for? Write this in advance and save it to your computer desktop. When you are ready to introduce yourself to the employer, post your elevator pitch in the chat box.

Follow-up. Don’t forget to collect the contact information of the recruiters you talk to at the career fair so you can follow up with them.

Keep in mind that UMUC Career Services is available to help you in every stage of your career. Visit CareerQuest to access career tools, resources, search for jobs, internships, and make an appointment with a UMUC Career Advising Specialist.

Rhoda Smackum is a career services advisor at University of Maryland University College. She in an associate certified career coach and global career development facilitator. Her areas of expertise include career coaching, career transition, career exploration, working with special populations, job search strategizing, and supervision.