Virtual Career Fairs –8 tips to prepare

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Contributed by Susanne Killian, Ph.D., Assistant Director, Graduate Student Career Services, Duke University Career Center

Virtual Career Fairs can be a fulfilling addition to your holistic job search.  These types of career fairs are becoming incre


asingly popular due to the fact that they save employers time and money and increase the geographic diversity of attendees–all while utilizing cutting edge technologies to appeal to the modern job searcher. They also benefit the job searcher who can reduce travel costs and reach a greater number of employers in a shorter time period. These novel fairs do take practice for even the most tech savvy job searchers.
Many websites will tell you that all you need for participation in a Virtual Career Fair is a reliable Internet connection and a resume. Even though the platform may reduce the time needed for packing, travel, and parking you must still prepare and do your homework.
Here are eight important tips for preparing for a Virtual Career Fair:
1.    Update Your Resume
Remember that your resume should be clean, concise and up to date.  Have a digital copy ready to submit online to recruiters and hiring managers.  Make sure to have your resume in PDF form to avoid any digital re-formatting issue.
2.    Research Companies
Prior to the Virtual Career Fair, access the list of employers and pick five companies that interest you most and another five that may be a second tier interest. Research these companies thoroughly and effectively through resources in addition to company websites. Use online newspapers, business journals, LinkedIn, and social media.  This will help guide your inquiries and allow you to highlight your related skills.
3.    Create a Calendar Reminder
When you do not have to coordinate your travel, a Virtual event can slip your mind.  Set calendar reminders for the day before and two hours before.
4.    Prepare Your Introduction

Prepare an introduction about your education, skills and future goals.  Use this guide to help you prepare.  Additionally, have a digital copy available to pin to your resume digitally.
5.    Dress Appropriately
Even though you will not be traveling to meet employers, dress appropriately, and look well groomed for a video interview.
6.    Have Your Paperwork in Order and Test Your Internet and Video Connections
Have your resume and any other documents you may need uploaded and available on your computer desktop for easy access.  Ensure that your Internet connection is functioning and that your audio/video is working properly if you will be video interviewing.
7.    Keep Organized
Organize your company information and your contact information.  Create a spreadsheet or chart where you can easily input information about the connections you make or the companies to which you submitted your resume.
8.    Send Thank You Notes

Send thank you emails to all individuals that you made contact with and thank them for their time.

If you feel ready to take the leap into a Virtual Career Fair, here is a great opportunity below. 
Just remember to be prepared, be patient and get ready to get hired!

Ph.D. & Master’s Virtual Career Fair
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Students, postdocs, and alumni are invited to attend.  Meet recruiters live online - it's easy and efficient!
[More information and registration]

Keep an eye out for more career fairs on our job-posting and event tool, Duke CareerConnections.