Every educational institution wants its students to gain all the right skills needed to succeed in their disciplines. And if they land good jobs, you’ve done your work right. An alumni job fair is a great way to help your students out. Here’s how you can connect your alumni with high-quality job opportunities.
The most active approach to landing job placements is by conducting an alumni job fair. Such events invite graduates and various organizations to network and assess one another. Recruiting companies set up booths to showcase their businesses and shortlist candidates from among event visitors.
Conventional alumni job fairs have been around for some time now. However, since early 2021, virtual and hybrid events have become the norm due to pandemic restrictions.
Why You Should Host a Virtual Alumni Job Fair
Virtual alumni job fairs were discovered by accident. But they’ve been proven to be extremely useful and cost-effective. And often, even better than conventional alumni job fairs. Here’s why.
- Cater to a dispersed and global alumni network.
- Invite more exhibitors to recruit candidates from your alumni.
- House a theoretically unlimited number of attendees.
- Save on traveling and accommodation costs for both recruiters and your students.
- Keep it live for months conveniently.
How You Can Host the Best Virtual Alumni Job Fair
Now that you know why an alumni job fair is important, let’s explore how you can host them. This guide will walk you through every step of the way.
1. Set Your Goals
Set quantifiable goals before you work on your virtual job fair. These will help you streamline the planning process.
Define targets for the number of exhibitors, visitors, and placements for your virtual alumni job fair. In this way, you’ll know just how many companies to approach for the event and the kind of budget you can allot. Once the event ends, you can also compare your targets with the actual numbers. This data helps improve future events.
2. Create an Alumni Job Fair Budget
Next, you need to set up a budget for your event. Typically, organizers fund job fairs via sponsorships. Seek medium to large corporations for sponsorships in exchange for job advertising opportunities. These companies often have lots of openings at the same time so job fairs are great avenues for them to quickly fill these positions with top talent.
Once you have your total budget laid out, plan out how much of it can be assigned to each of your line items. You’ll need money for the virtual event platform mainly but there can always be other costs such as equipment, marketing campaigns, and PR activities.
3. Choose a Hosting Platform
Virtual events have a lot of moving parts so you need to choose your platform wisely. This is where you’ll need to do extensive research and take a look at the virtual event hosting platforms in the market. These platforms will give you the technology and support you need to set up and run your virtual event.
Make sure you pick a platform that offers all the virtual job fair features you need. Usually, these are:
- Virtual venues
- Exhibit hall
- Video and chat support
- Job board
- Candidate search
- Meeting scheduler
There are a bunch of add-ons as well that can help elevate the virtual event experience. Some examples are auto-matchmaking, games, and video content. 24/7 support during the event also ensures fast troubleshooting so your attendees and exhibitors don’t experience any hiccups.
Apart from these, a platform provider that offers end-to-end project management will aid you through the event designing process. Some will even offer event consultation and help you set up the event exactly how you imagine it. These value-additions can help you set up an unforgettable event without the stress.
4. Invite Exhibitors
It’s time to move on to inviting exhibitors. Reach out to various organizations, and send them pitches about why your virtual alumni job fair can be beneficial for them. Make sure you showcase how well you’ve prepared your students for their respective fields.
In addition, let your exhibitors know how many visitors are expected and how they can recruit potential candidates from these numbers.
5. Invite Alumni
Once everything is in place, you can finally invite your alumni to your event. Use your mailing lists and social media platforms to let them know about the job fair. Prompt registrations via the event landing page, and enter relevant information to make it easier for recruiters to shortlist them. These student data fields should include skill-sets, experience, and achievements.
Online registrations will also let you know how many people are planning to come to your event.
Pro-tip: utilize the data for targeted marketing in the days leading up to the job fair!
6. Test Run Before the Alumni Job Fair
Now, you’re ready to host your alumni job fair. Bring all the sponsors and representatives on board to see if everyone is familiar with the platform. Test your equipment and run dummy sessions before the event. Make sure all your stakeholders are able to find their way around the virtual venues.
4. What Features Should You Use at Your Alumni Job Fair
While there are many platforms for hosting virtual events, few offer specialized features for alumni job fairs. One such example is vFairs. It has a wide variety of features that work great for all kinds of events. Here are some features that power high ROI recruitment fairs.
1. Chat Rooms
Chat rooms at job fairs provide your alumni a way to communicate with the recruiters and get on a more steady footing with them. Recruiters can encourage visitors to come by their booths and learn about available opportunities.
2. Profile Matchmaking
Make it easier for recruiters and prospects to find each other with the profile matchmaking feature. When your alumni register for your event, they’ll have to enter more data about their interests. This data is used to create candidate profiles. Recruiters can go through these profiles to shortlist candidates conveniently.
3. Candidate profile search
The recruiters at your alumni job fair will find it much easier to shortlist candidates with the candidate profile search feature. This helps them narrow down their requirements, and choose the right candidates for the next step.
4. Meeting Scheduler
Each booth will have its own chat room as well. Here, alumni can book meetings, interact with the recruiters directly, and discuss the next steps in the procedure. In addition, they can set up meetings for future dates and plan their job fair visit accordingly. These meetings are plugged into both the exhibitor and candidate calendars.
5. Job Boards
A job board at your event can showcase various job openings posted by exhibitors. Display these job boards clearly in the main lobby of your virtual event so your attendees can plan out their visit right from the start.
These job boards are available in vFairs as a specialized feature, and can really help you connect alumni with the right recruiters. When alumni see these boards, they can visit the relevant booths and get interviewed on the spot.
6. Data Collection
One of the best ways to leverage your job fairs is to gather all data possible. There’s tons of information that you can extract from here. Here are a few examples:
- What kinds of companies are attracting the most visitors? You can bring more of these onboard for your upcoming job fairs.
- What kinds of skills are the most sought-after amongst recruiters? This can help you make changes to your curriculums.
- How many alumni were able to get hired and how many companies closed roles? This data will help attract both future attendees and exhibitors.
To sum up, there are numerous ways to help your alumni get hired. You can leverage email marketing, social media marketing, and even host an exciting virtual alumni job fair.
But out of all your options, an alumni job fair is the fastest way to help your students launch their dream careers. They’ve worked really hard to earn their degrees so why not make it all worth it?
Learn more about our virtual job fair solutions!