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In the new era of virtual, job seekers are still getting accustomed to meeting employers virtually rather than in-person. College career fairs are no exception. Students should be encouraged to experience both in-person college career fairs as well as virtual because they both offer value, in different yet similar ways. As a student you also must remember that just because virtual means you get to sit in the comfort of your own home, doesn’t mean you can slack on your preparation for the event.  


If the platform you are using for the virtual career fair is asking you to create a profile, fill it out in its entirety with the most up to date information on your skills, experience, education, and resume. Employers will also look for you on LinkedIn, if you don’t have a profile now is a good time to create one and make sure it mirrors your resume as well as your other virtual profile. 


This is probably the most crucial for any virtual event: making sure you can access it! The most ideal time to do this is the day before the event to leave time for downloading software, testing internet, video and audio connections, and troubleshooting. Some devices may not be capable of supporting the virtual platform you will be using, so you need to be prepared with a backup. Give yourself the preparation time so the day of you can log in with no issues. 


Remember that you will be in front of an employer, so the environment you’re sitting in needs to be clean and free of distractions to you and them. The focal point of the conversation should be you and the employer having a discussion, not outside sounds, or a messy background. An ideal environment to participate in a virtual career fair is quiet, private, with a neutral background, free of clutter, and well-lit. It’s always a good idea to use headphones to ensure there are no distractions to you and the person you are speaking with. 


First impressions are made in the blink of an eye, with research showing they can be formed within just seven seconds. This is your chance to make a first impression on an employer, so make the most out of the opportunity by looking professional, in business casual attire. Even though you are meeting them virtually, it’s important to get out of your pjs and sweats to not only show the employer that you cared to look presentable for them, but it will help boost your confidence.  


With any interview or scheduled appointment, it’s important to be on time to your scheduled session for the virtual career fair. This shows the employer that you are dependable and respectful of their time.  


Being in a separate location from the employer you are speaking with does not diminish their ability to pick up on your engagement level. Your body language, eye contact, and tone of voice are all indicators that you are actively listening and interested in the conversation. It’s a great idea to practice your facial expressions, posture, as well as speaking in front of a mirror. You want to be looking into the camera during the entire conversation with the employer, and not at yourself, so make sure you are confident ahead of time.  

Looking into the camera, you are making eye contact with the employer. Sit up straight, smile and nod occasionally and naturally as you would during an in-person interview. Finally, just like when you were evaluating your surroundings, make sure there are no distractions, so you are not tempted to look away from the screen while you are talking to an employer.  


Just because a college career fair is being held virtually, doesn’t mean the goal is any different for employers than if they were to meet you in-person. It’s important to take a virtual career fair just as seriously, and it’s always in your favor to prepare for it ahead of time to ensure smooth sailing and hopefully landing a job!  

Nicole Garza
Nicole Garza

Nicole Garza is Atrium's Recruitment Marketing Manager. As a result of her 10+ years of experience, she has a constant pulse on the latest hiring trends and candidate attraction strategies.