Every year educational institutions, especially colleges and universities, host job fairs. Hiring managers physically set up their booths at a campus space. They try to recruit students from a huge pool of talent to fill up different job openings. But physically navigating through the crowd looking for a gem is not easy.

This is the reason why many companies miss out on interacting with the right fit at the right time. But with the advent of university virtual job fairs – be gone the hassle of traditional job fairs.

Virtual job fairs have made student work placement easier for university and college career services staff. Through career fairs they can focus on students individually. They get to direct them to job opportunities, and more easily help them navigate through the application process. Moreover, online job fairs have streamlined the recruitment process for employers too.

What is the Purpose of a Job Fair?

A virtual job fair is an event organized by universities once or twice a year. Students meet recruiters (human resource representatives) from well-known companies who are looking for potential job candidates to fill in the open roles.

Through a virtual platform, employers set up their booths to showcase their company. They tell students about the services their companies offer. Recruiters also familiarize students with their hiring and application process. Features such as live chat, Q&A and interactive webinars allow them to address FAQs, details about their new grad programs, company benefits, or anything else they might want to know.

Additionally, students can apply on the spot to be considered for the positions. Once they have applied, the online resume database collects all the CVs. At the end of the university virtual career fair employers sort out the resumes from the database to finalize the right fit.

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What Happens at a Job Fair?

Access to Employers

The main goal of the career fair for students is to get an opportunity to converse with recruiters from different companies. These companies send their representatives such as HR reps, recruiters, and other staff to set up their booths. The recruiters make sure that students get all the information they need to apply.

Students also get to talk to recent recruits about their experience with the company.

Additionally, students put forth their area of interest to get to know about possible career paths within a specific company. Career fairs act more like a practice before the actual interview. They allow students and employers to test the proverbial waters in a more relaxed environment. They also help guide students about which career path they should take.

CV Writing Tips & Tricks

Career fairs, either virtual or physical, offer optional webinars, presentation sessions, and workshops. These sessions are conducted by HR professionals and industry experts on varying topics.

Interview and CV writing tips are the most important sessions that graduating students are always looking forward to . These industry experts tell students about how they can set up their ideal candidate profile. How they can write their descriptions, and groom their resumes. They also tell students about the useful tips on the interview process. All these tips increase students’ chances of securing a position at a reputable company.

Access to a Pool of Talent

Students can access employers for employment opportunities. On the other hand, companies can attract a large pool of talent to fill in the vacant positions. Recruiters get a chance to meet with potential job candidates face-to-face who are interested in their industry.

Many companies decide to shortlist candidates for the second round of interviews based on their first interaction with them.

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Valuable Q & A Session

If you are looking to host a virtual career fair then there are various ways through which you drive attendee engagement.  Let alone, encourage them to ask meaningful questions. For example, students can ask about the details of the available position and company’s expectations, etc. Companies are able to address any and all questions immediately via webinar or through a curated FAQ section within their virtual booth

Moreover, they can easily ask questions after the webinar or a seminar in a dedicated Q & A session. In a Q & A session every student gets a chance to equally participate. Students also get to clear any doubts or confusions beforehand.

On the Spot Hiring

At a career fair, potential employers get a chance to conduct walk-in interviews. Students can drop in their CVs, and reserve a spot for an interview with the HR rep. This way students can secure an internship or even an entry-level job upon graduation.

Whichever type of event you choose to host — either physical or virtual — it requires heaps of preparation in advance. You need to ensure you have all the exhibitors onboard with marketing collateral that’s ready to woo prospective employees.

Are Job Fairs Worth It?

The simple answer would be – yes. Career fairs are totally worth it. To prove our point, let’s look at some of the most important benefits of hosting one.

Networking Opportunities

One of the major benefits of organizing a career fair is to provide students the opportunity to network and build relationships with prospective employers. Networking, on the other hand, is very beneficial for newly graduated students. So career fairs allow students to initiate a conversation with different companies in their industry of choice.

Now, this is worth it! Moreover, students can speak all about what they bring to the table. They can swap business cards to follow up with employers after the event for future openings as well – in case they couldn’t find anything suitable during the event.

Information about Job Openings

Students can familiarize themselves with available job openings. They get to know what they need to do in order to secure a job without any delay.

 While most jobs are published on the internet or job portals, it might be confusing for students to understand which jobs are best suited to their skills and qualifications. Therefore career fairs save students the hassle of looking through the search engine for jobs that match their interest and skill set.

During a career fair, they not only get a chance to talk to employers but also know about all the vacancies in their geographical area. 

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1:1 Communication

As mentioned earlier, the career fair offers a chance for graduating students to make a lasting impression by communicating with employers one-on-one. They can even make that connection while submitting the resume. Because professional HR reps can tell them how they can improve their resumes to ensure placement.

Also, it allows students to know about how to dress for, or speak during, an interview to make an impression. Since physical career fairs have many students attending from all over the area, faces can become blurry to employers. But virtual events ensure that every student gets a chance to personally meet an employer and drop in their resumes.

Brand Awareness

Participating companies can increase and develop strong brand awareness among their target audience. They can showcase their company policies, perks, and benefits in a positive light. Which, as a result, can encourage talented job seekers to consider their company.

Branded visual displays can draw student’s attention, which enables companies to get the name out through marketing collateral.

Industry Insights

Furthermore, students can ask questions and gain industry insights, skills, and qualifications needed to fill in certain positions. Based on this, they can craft their resumes for higher chances of success.

Students get a chance to find all the information they need about the companies which they can not find elsewhere.

What’s the Difference Between a Job Fair and a Career Fair?

A career fair is where one employer is recruiting for multiple jobs within their company (multiple departments). Job fairs are multiple employers recruiting at the same event (sometimes for multiple positions, sometimes it’s all related to a specific industry — for example; a bunch of companies all looking for marketing professionals).

A Job or a Recruiting Fair

  • Target audience differs. Job fairs are looking for individuals to fill in the positions. Such as part/ full-time jobs or internships.
  • The main goal is to make people aware of the available opportunities that they should consider.
  • Graduate schools and professional organizations sponsor booths at a job fair.
  • Employers with more immediate hiring needs participate in a job fair.

A Career Fair

  • Career fairs are more directed towards connecting with potential HR reps for relationship building.
  • Employers get a chance to meet prospects. Also to discuss the potential job and/or internship opportunities.
  • Chances are you may not walk out of the door with a job in your hand as such fairs are more resource and career-oriented.
  • The main goal is to attract individuals to work in a specific industry.
  • Last but not least, mostly, employers with no immediate hiring needs attend the career fair. 

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