Conquering career fairs in-person is hard enough; adding virtual technology into the mix doesn’t exactly soothe the nerves. If you are stressing, regretting, searching for information or all of the above, VALLEY has your back. Here are some tips to help you succeed during your virtual career fair so that like Elle Woods, you can say to yourself, “What? Like it’s hard?”
The 411 on virtual conversations.
Usually, you get 10 minutes to speak on the Brazen platform. You start by introducing yourself via typing in the chat and ask if they are willing to do a video chat. Then, they introduce themselves and the company, giving you a chance to ask questions, give your elevator pitch and steer the conversation. If you ask a good question to get the conversation going, it will usually take one-to-three-minutes to answer.
After that, there are usually five minutes left. Either ask a follow up question or relate it back to your experiences to show how you are what they are looking for. When there are one-or-two-minutes left, try to wrap up your thoughts and ask for the recruiters contact information. Make sure to thank them and send a note later!
Sign up early; show up early.
Arriving fashionably late may be the move in other situations, but with virtual career fairs, sign up in advance to see which companies will be attending so you can research them. Sometimes, companies look at who has signed up and may reach out to candidates before the career fair even happens. When the career fair takes place, if you show up too late, you may not get to have any conversations if the virtual lines are too long.
A benefit to virtual career fairs is that you can have a document on your computer with a pre-written elevator pitch, greeting, closing and any other information for you to copy and paste into the chat or read off of. On the Brazen platform, every chat automatically starts with typing. To make the best use of your time, have a pre-typed response to copy and paste.
Magdalena Nygard, a sophomore majoring in advertising and public relations, did two virtual career fairs this year. She spoke to VALLEY about the importance of doing your research beforehand, and also gave a helpful hack she used during the career fairs.
If you have something you want to remember, write it down on a sticky note and attach it to the top of your computer. That way, when you read what you wrote, it looks like you are still looking into the cameraSays Magdalena Nygard
Talk to your dream companies right away.
For in-person career fairs, people may advise you to practice speaking to another company before you speak to your dream company. However, with virtual lines sometimes holding more than 60 people and algorithms bumping people down the line when they enter other chats before their turn, it is best if you talk to your favorites right away, rather than waiting and not getting to speak to them at all.
Show up professionally.
Dress nicely and make sure your background does not show anything compromising. A good way to check so you are not surprised by what shows up on camera during your conversation, is by logging onto zoom beforehand to get a sense of what you may look like and what your background may show. Also, check your lighting! Try to face the window or the light source.
Keep track of your time.
Keep an eye on the clock because you don’t want to be cut-off mid-sentence. When you have one-or-two-minutes remaining, try to wrap up your thoughts. Before your conversation ends, make sure you ask for their contact information and thank them for their time. We suggest writing down notes from your conversation right after — trust us, you will thank yourself later.