Top Tips to Prepare for a Virtual Career Fair

With the Tufts Fall Virtual Career Fair happening on Friday, September 24th from 1 pm – 4 pm (EST), we wanted to highlight some major perks about participating in a virtual fair. As a reminder, we have a student checklist for you, and we encourage you to review it to make sure you are prepared and bringing your best you to the event! You can also drop into a Career Lab to get your resume critiqued and get advice on participating in the fairs from both our career fellows and our advisors.

Top Tips of a Virtual Career Fair

⭐Know who you are meeting with and when—and prepare for it!

There are two ways to engage with employers at virtual fairs on Handshake. One is in Group Sessions (30 minutes) and the other is through 1-on-1 meetings (10 minutes). As soon as you register, you can start building your schedule with these different sessions types and can continue to add throughout the fair as well. The further in advance you register will give you the advantage to do some research and allow you to ask questions that make you stand out among the crowd. You can even use tools like Big Interview to practice your pitch in a virtual landscape!

⭐Guaranteed face time with employers with no waiting in lines!

Because you are scheduling sessions in advance and are shown day-of availability as well, you get G U A R A N T E E D time with employers of interest to you! At a traditional in-person career fair you could sometimes be lucky to grab a couple of minutes with an employer and hand off your resume. In this space, for 1-on-1 meetings you have a confirmed 10 minutes and with Group Sessions a confirmed 30 minutes to be able to interact with employers of your choice. There is also no waiting in lines or wandering around lost, which gives you time back in your day. It also allows you to pick and choose when you want to interact. You do not need to schedule out the full 3 hours, unless you want to of course!

⭐Prepare your Space for a Distraction-free Experience

Due to the virtual nature of the fair, you can participate no matter where you are physically located. Take some time before the fair to find and set up a place where you feel comfortable and confident. Be sure that wherever you decide to participate from can offer a natural/neutral background (which can be virtual if it is professional looking), and that will offer some privacy and quiet the day of the event. You are in the driver seat to take advantage and create an atmosphere where you feel confident and ready to make a lasting, positive impression.

⭐Dress Professionally to Make the Best Impression

Plan to dress professionally for the Virtual Career Fair. Review proper attire for MenWomen, and those beyond the binary. Business casual attire is  appropriate for the Virtual Career Fairs, unless you’ve been instructed differently. You may note some career fair or interview attire guidelines portray traditional gender roles: Remember, you are the final judge of what will work for you. Job seekers should dress professionally for the gender they would choose to present at work or in gender-neutral attire. The most important consideration for appropriateness of attire is that clothes be professional, fit well, and be consistent with organizational culture.

⭐Watch the time – Do Not Be Late to 1:1 & Group Sessions!

[NO-SHOW POLICY] As a policy, we ask that students who no longer wish to meet with an employer they have a scheduled 1-on-1 with give notice and cancel prior to the start of the Virtual Career Fair. This is as a courtesy to the employer and to other students who would be interested in filling the slot. If the Fair has started, we kindly ask that you keep your commitment as a representation of not only yourself, but the Tufts community. *No-shows may result in a loss of access to all Handshake functionality*

Lastly, check out this video on how to make the most of virtual career fairs!
You can also chat with us at careers.tufts.edu from September 20 – 24 if you have any quick questions for our advisors and/or employer relations team.

See you at the fair!

By Sue Atkins
Sue Atkins Associate Director, Employer Relations Sue Atkins