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vFairs recently held an iteration of its webcast series, Epic Events. On March 17, 2022, our webcast “Best Practices for a Successful University Job Fair” took place. Our CEO, Muhammad Younas, conducted and moderated the session, while Francine Blume, Assistant Vice President of Career Development at the University of Maryland Global Campus and Sunee Samuel, Career Services Coordinator at the Toronto School of Management were the guest speakers. They talked about the best ways to host and market a virtual university job fair, and expressed what strategies work best for them.
There’s no need to worry if you missed the webcast! You can easily watch the whole video on demand whenever you want. Check out the webcast and also read ahead for the highlights.
The goals of a university virtual job fair can vary between different universities. The University of Maryland Global Campus focuses on finding students and alumni who want jobs, and then works on finding the right set of roommates for them.
On the other hand, the Toronto School of Management understands the diversity of its student body. So, the team ensures that everyone is aware of various cultural practices, manners, and norms in order to help them get jobs in the mainstream market.
Younas, Francine, and Sunee talked about what makes a virtual university job fair successful, and discussed various best practices around these events. They talked about different aspects, such as:
Check out a few of the university job fair factors which really stood out in this webcast!
Both Francine and Sunee talked about how they reached out to their students to get them to come to their university job fair. When it comes to the University of Maryland, Francine revealed that the goal was to identify the students who actually need jobs. On the other hand, Sunee said that the Toronto School of Management focuses more on cultural diversity and helping its students fit into the Canadian job market.
So, they used both online and offline outreach methods. Often, something as simple as classroom announcements did most of the job. However, announcements on internal university portals, along with pre-event training workshops worked quite well, and helped students be prepared for the virtual university job fair.
Selecting the right sort of exhibitors is also an important aspect in making a university job fair successful. Each university has its own event goals and student/alumni demographics. For example, the University of Maryland Global Campus has a majority of students in their 30s and from military backgrounds. So, only relevant companies should be invited. In addition, Francine stated that they also look at various companies’ hiring history, in order to avoid CV hoarders.
The speakers also talked about how sticking with the same marketing methods for years is not useful at all. This is because students have their own ways of communication, and older methods like SMS marketing and phone calls may not be viable anymore. Sunee revealed that Instagram is quite an effective way to reach out to students in her university. This shows that universities must keep track of what communication methods their students prefer, and reach out through those channels.
It would not do if both students and employers are not prepared before the event or are not available. So, both university representatives talked about how they would share a few instructions and have training sessions with both students and exhibitors. Francine also added that her team opens up the event for students a week or so in advance, so that they can drop off their CVs and other details in case they can’t make it on the day of the event. Sunee added that while there are training sessions for exhibitors, there is considerable hand holding involved so that they know the lay of the land when the university job fair actually takes place. To this end, in-person sessions between companies and students before the job fair are quite helpful .
Another aspect which works well for universities is peer-to-peer promotion. Sunee stated how various WhatsApp groups and classroom announcements helped spread the word about the university job fairs. This sort of marketing is quite cost-effective and is useful because students are more likely to take peer recommendations than official suggestions.
So, here was a windup of the recent Epic Events edition by vFairs. Stay tuned to hear from more experts about various topics related to the event industry and more! Subscribe to the vFairs YouTube channel to find out when the next sessions will take place.
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