4 Common Mistakes When Participating in a Virtual Career Fair (and how to avoid them!)

Virtual recruitment is here to stay for awhile, especially as we navigate a new normal in both work and home life. For this reason it is incredibly important to make sure that you are utilizing the virtual recruitment and engagement tools to their fullest capacity. While it is not uncommon to have unforeseen technical complications, there are always steps you can take to make sure you are prepared. The tool we will be focusing on for this article is Handshake’s Virtual Fair tool that Tufts will be using during our upcoming Virtual Career Fair on September 30th from 1 pm – 4 pm. Here are 4 common mistakes and how to side step them to make sure you are putting your organization in an optimal position to recruit top talent!

đź’»Mistake #1: Easily Avoided Technical Issues

Short of shouting it from the rooftops, we cannot stress this point enough. With Handshake’s Virtual Fair Module, you must be using the most up-to-date Chrome browser. Having a strong, reliable internet connection is also key. It never hurts to ensure this by plugging in with an ethernet cable. You can also make absolutely sure that your set up is compatible with Handshake’s platform by either launching a Test Session from the fair page OR going to networktest.twilio.com and running a quick scan. Students are quickly dissuaded on an organization when they have trouble communicating due to employer technology mishaps.

đźš«Mistake #2: Arriving Late or Missing a Student 1-on-1 Session

Students have the availability to add sessions throughout the fair, so your schedule may change from how it looked prior to the start of the event. In addition, before students are able to start signing up for slots, we highly encourage you to make sure your availability is accurate. As the day draws near, be sure to update your schedule with more/less slots as needed, but remember, if you are marked as available and it is empty, it could be filled during the event. If you know you run a little longer than 10 minutes, do not schedule back-to-back 1-on-1s.

While these are still exploratory events and not a formal interview for a job/internship or Co-op, students still take the time to research and prepare for their Group Sessions and 1-on-1s. Being able to schedule ahead of time and know you they’re meeting with in advance is a perk of this platform. That being said, once they’ve done all their preparation and their time is cut short by a late arrival or skipped all together it can be incredibly disheartening for the student and reflect poorly on your organization. Handshake allows the Career Services team to monitor all session attendance from both the student and employer side. Be sure to expect a follow up from our team if you missed sessions, as we want our students who were interested in meeting with you to still have that opportunity.

đź—“Mistake #3: Building Out Schedules Too Late

Once your registration has been approved by a school, it is best to build out your attending representatives schedules as soon as possible. At the very least, you should have your schedules built out AND claimed, prior to the student registration period opening. As soon as student registration opens, they will be able to start signing up for sessions and filling out their schedules for the fair. If your organization does not have schedules built and claimed they will see that you have no availability and may not bother to circle back. For best student registration rates for your own sessions, you need to be prepared and have all representative schedules claimed prior to student registration.

If you are not sure who from your organization is attending that is okay. It is easy to swap schedules between representatives if your lineup for the day changes, so it is best to make sure you have some, if not all, availability published prior to student registration opening.

📧Mistake #4: Not Reading/Using the Resources Schools and Handshake Provide

We are here to help you succeed! We want you to make meaningful connections with our students and are available to help you achieve that. Make sure that emails from Handshake are not blocked/going to your spam folder because we send a lot of helpful resources and reminders prior to the event through Handshake’s email functionality. From quick how-to resources to bulkier content, we are available to help, but also here to empower you and your organization.

We understand that tools keep changing and workloads are by no means lessening in this virtual space. The Tufts Career Center Employer Relations team is always here to help you take that next step and help you engage with our amazing students!

Contact Tufts Career Center ER Team:

Sue Atkins, Associate Director, Employer Relations: Susan.Atkins@tufts.edu


By Sue Atkins
Sue Atkins Associate Director, Employer Relations