How To Conquer Your First Virtual Career Fair

The year 2020 has allotted for innovation and creativity in keeping everyone connected virtually while we practice social distancing. As we shift to a cyber lifestyle, many familiar settings like a classroom or office are being facilitated on apps, websites, instant messaging, and facetime. However, some things never change, like being a college student looking for an internship or securing a full-time job before graduation!

The University Career Center has shifted all scheduled in-person career fairs to virtual fairs via Handshake. Although virtual career fairs may seem new to you, they’ve gained in popularity over the past couple of years. Hopefully, this blog will provide you with insight into participating in your first virtual career fair successfully!

First Steps

Handshake

All virtual career fairs will be hosted on Handshake, so make sure you have signed on to your Handshake account. It’s a simple process. All you need to log in is your abc123 and the same passphrase you use to log on to ASAP. Take some time to review your profile to ensure that it’s up to date.

Register

You can register for the fair on Handshake by clicking on the “Events” tab and selecting the “Register” button. It’s essential to do this as early as possible to be prepared and receive reminder notifications. 

Research

After you register for the fair, a list of employers participating in the fair will be displayed. You should become familiar with the companies that match your interests. You can also review their job positions in Handshake under the “Jobs” tab. This could give you some insight on what positions are available and optimize who you should speak with at the fair.

Best Practices 

Technology

Handshake is most compatible with the Google Chrome browser. Try to test your camera, audio, and internet connection beforehand to avoid any technical difficulties on the day of the event. Have a backup plan ready! Download the Handshake app on your phone just in case your laptop starts having technical problems. If all else fails, visit Handshake’s Tech Support.

Sessions

Register for one-on-one or group sessions with employers as soon as possible. The earlier, the better! On Handshake, select the “Available Sessions” tab in the upper-left corner of the page, below the fair title and date/time. Choose the type and time of the session that you would like to reserve. For additional details, review Signing Up for & Managing Virtual Fair Sessions.

Resume

Your resume is one of the most important documents to have with you at the fair! If you don’t have a resume or need to have it updated, the University Career Center offers services to help you with your resume. VMock is a resume reviewer that uses artificial intelligence to analyze your resume and provide tips on any revisions that need to be made. You can always sign on to Handshake and select the “Career Center” tab and set up an appointment to virtually meet with a career counselor to have them review your resume. 

Additional Resources

We have also put together a resource guide that goes over in more detail advice, tips, and other information about our virtual career fairs. You can download the pdf below. 

UCC Virtual Career Fair Resource Guide

Also, review Handshake’s resource guide for attending virtual career fairs. 

Handshake’s Guide to Attending a Virtual Career Fair

You can review our previous live session, where we covered FAQs on our YouTube channel below.

https://youtu.be/LOyPidYx8KY

Remember, the University Career Center is here to help you have a fun and successful experience with the virtual career fairs. If you have any questions or would like to gain more information, please contact career.services@utsa.edu 

By Tyra Allen
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