UC to host career fairs virtually this October

What job seekers can do to prepare

The University of Cincinnati will hold three career fairs virtually this October for students and alumni.

At a career fair, recruiters and hiring managers meet with job seekers to identify good candidates for open positions, while job seekers use the opportunity to talk directly with company representatives to identify opportunities for which they want to apply.

In a virtual career fair, recruiters and job seekers accomplish the same tasks by communicating through text and/or video chat online. Anyone with a device and an internet connection can participate from anywhere. With gatherings limited and travel restricted, virtual fairs make sense for both students and employers.

In order by date, the seven virtual fairs UC will host in October are:

.The fairs will be held virtually using Handshake, UC’s platform for all things career. Students and alumni should register for the event to receive reminders and notifications, then, as the fair date approaches, sign up for group sessions or one-on-one meetings with recruiters at the organizations that interest them.

What job seekers can do to prepare

Regardless of the platform, job seekers can do many things to succeed at a virtual career fair.

Before the fair

  • Prepare a brief (30-second) self-introduction (e.g., name, major, year, and one question). Convert the key points into a brief text introduction to use use in text-based chat.
  • Update your resume. Upload your most recent version to the online career fair platform.
  • Prepare a list of questions to ask company representatives. What information will help you decide if an opportunity could be good for you?
  • Use the resources offered by your co-op advisor, Lindner Career Services, or the Bearcat Promise Career Studio to polish your resume, practice your self-introduction, get ideas for questions to ask, and prepare for interviews.
  • Review the list of companies that will be there. Handshake lets you filter the list to identify companies or opportunities that interest you. Visit the company's website to learn what it does and its current priorities or projects. These make great talking points! Flag those you want to visit during the virtual fair.

On fair day

  • Make sure you're in a quiet environment with reliable internet access. Headphones or earbuds are also a good idea.
  • Wear business professional or nice business casual attire. Recruiters will be able to see you in video chat. Dressing well makes a good impression.
  • Have your self-introduction ready. Have a version you can say and a version you can copy and paste into a chat window.
  • If you’re attending the fair in Premier Virtual, start conversations and initiate chats. If you’re attending a virtual fair on Handshake, sign up for as many one-to-one and group sessions as you have time for. The more recruiters you talk to, the better chance you have of getting what you want. Keep your energy up. Take breaks if you need to.
  • As you talk with recruiters, make notes of which companies you visit, who you talk to, and your thoughts about working there. Also jot down recruiters' names and contact information in case you want to follow up or send a thank-you message.

Featured image at top: A recruiter hands a card to a job seeker at a recent University of Cincinnati in-person career fair. Photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative + Brand