How to Prepare for the UConn Virtual Career Fair

Today is the day! The first ever UConn Virtual Career Fair will be kicking off at 10 AM!

One final note, for those of you attempting to book consultations with employers today, please note that availability may not show. However, employers are still likely willing to speak to you today during the fair hours (10 AM to 4 PM). Please send them a message via the “Message” button located inside the Advisor profile in the Husky Mentor Network. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Well, it’s been an interesting week, to say the least. The shift to an online learning environment, coupled with the cancellation of in-person events, has created a lot of unknows for the UConn community. As we all do our best to adjust, the Center for Career Development is doing everything it can to provide it’s career resources. This includes shifting the Spring Career Fair to a virtual fair.

What is a virtual fair? It’s just like a regular fair, with employers gathering to recruit student talent and discuss career opportunities. The only difference is that the conversations are not face-to-face, but rather via video chat or over the phone. For the UConn Virtual Fair, we will be utilizing the Husky Mentor Network (HMN). The first thing you’ll want to do is set up your HMN profile.

Also Read: My Experience using Husky Mentor Network

How to Get Started with Husky Mentor Network and find the Virtual Fair

If you’re like me, you might be a better visual learner. I don’t what I would do without YouTube tutorials. Watch this video created specifically for UConn’s Virtual Fair. It goes through each step to create your HMN profile, find the Virtual Fair and see the jobs employers have posted. Keep in mind this is the first time employers are doing a virtual fair with UConn so they’ll be adding jobs right up to the beginning of the fair.

What to do Before the Fair

Register for the fair – Just like an in-person fair, it is recommended that you register because you will receive automated reminders. Also just like an in-person fair, you can register in Handshake.

Do your research – Take some time to view the employers attending the fair. Click here for a current list of attending employers. This will give you a sense of who you would like to talk to during the fair and help you learn about the companies you’re interested in, which will help you during your conversations. Employers are looking for curious candidates who ask questions.

Prepare your résumé – No brainer, right? Of course, but it’s an important step. Make sure it is up to date. The same goes for your LinkedIn profile. If you would like to have your résumé reviewed by a Career Coach before the fair, click here to schedule an appointment. We’re doing appointments virtually and over the phone. When your resume is good to go, make sure it is uploaded to Husky Mentor Network.

Schedule your conversations – This one is unique to virtual fairs. Recruiters have available time slots during the fair. They’re open now and first-come, first-served, so it is recommended that you sign up for a slot as soon as you are ready. You can reserve up to 10 time slots. The video tutorial has step-by-step instructions on how to do this.

Perfect your pitch – You’re one-on-one conversations are capped at 10 minutes and you want to make the most out of that time. Your “tell me about yourself” pitch should be roughly 30 seconds and give the employer a strong sense of why you’re interested in working there. Our Career Coaches can help you with this if you’re struggling or just need someone to run it by.

Test your tech – You’ve done a lot of work to get ready, and you should be proud of yourself. Let’s not let a last-minute technology hangup thrown a wrench in your day. Make sure the device or devices you’ll be using during the fair are fully charged. Test your speakers and microphone as you will be using them during the fair to make sure you can hear and the person on the other end can hear you.

What to do During the Fair

Find your spot – Have a distraction-free area for your conversations. If you’re using video chat, make sure your background is neutral. A blank wall is ideal. Let your family/roommates know ahead of time that you need privacy for your conversations. You may need to remind them. I’ve had to remind my daughter (and dog) that even though I’m home, I’m working at least five times every day this week.

Dress for success – Even though your conversations will not be in person, it’s a good idea to dress for the jobs you are interested in. Plus I read somewhere that you have more confidence when you dress for the job you want. Or I saw it in a commercial. Who knows…

Deliver your pitch – Be prepared to tell the individual you’re speaking with about yourself and why you are interested in the company and its products or services. Do your best to keep it to 30 seconds and let their follow-up questions guide your responses. Do you have questions about a job posting? Make sure to ask about it. Did you already apply? Let them know.

Ask your questions – You did the research, now show it off. This will demonstrate your interest in the company.

Share your résumé – As the conversation wraps up, ask how to best share your résumé. At an in-person fair, you would hand it to them, but that’s not an option here. Don’t be afraid to ask for an email address. The employer is here to find qualified applicants like you.

If you have questions that were not covered here, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at career@uconn.edu or schedule an appointment with a career coach. We’re here to help you get the most out of the fiar. Good luck Wednesday and be well!.

By Evan McMunn
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