Published: 10 June 2021
Aside from the pure joy of learning, University has one overarching aim – giving you the skills you need to get a great job.
Before the pandemic, a common way to find out about the kinds of businesses you could work in were Careers Fairs.
Of course, like everything else, COVID-19 has seen these events shift online.
Although the world is opening a bit more now, that trend is likely to continue for some time.
How do they work?
Every career fair is different, depending on the organisers and the businesses attending.
But that being said, there are some things you’re likely to come across:
- A home page with the details of the fair.
- A replacement for the main hall of in-person events – this usually shows all the exhibitors you can speak with.
- An information centre run by the organisers.
- A CV clinic to help you build a great CV.
- Live sessions with lots of companies
Of course, you’ll spend most of your time visiting the various employer stands, which could include:
- Information about the company.
- Videos of current graduates talking about their experiences with the company.
- Links to their careers pages and social media channels.
- Job adverts.
You’ll have the chance to talk with them, usually in a separate chatbox.
That’s the time to ask them everything you want to know and maybe organise a video conference to take things further.
Online vs. In-person
Aside from the obvious thing of not being with them physically, there are some key differences you need to be aware of:
- In-person, it’s up to you to speak to the employers you want. But during online fairs, you’ll create your own profile. This means the companies can find you and ask to speak with you if you fit what they’re looking for.
- Despite this, you need to identify the businesses you want to speak with. At a physical event, an employer might notice you standing around and approach you. That can’t happen at a digital event, so be proactive.
- Virtual events are great for busy schedules. If the fair happens to be on a day you have a lecture, you can log out for that period and log back in when you’re done – not something you could do in person.
- There’s a lot less standing around and waiting at digital conferences. At physical ones, you must wait in queues to speak to the employers. But with the online version, you just put your name down and wait for them to contact you.
Now that you know what goes into a virtual careers fair, it’s time to find your first one.
The simplest way of doing this is Googling ‘Careers Fair’ and your industry.
But if you want something a little more general, check out this list of upcoming events.
Whatever you decide to do with your future, the University of Sunderland in London Careers and Employability Service is here to help.
To have a one-to-one chat with them, book a meeting through Compass.