By Nobel Chan (CAS ’23), CCD-ERC Student Ambassador
With this semester’s University-Wide Virtual Career Fair coming up soon on March 4, you may be wondering how to prepare for the event. Which employers should you meet? How much research should you do beforehand? What types of sessions will there be and which should you attend?
If you’ve been asking yourself these questions, we’re here to help! Read on to learn some tips that will help you work towards a successful Virtual Career Fair.
Tip #1: Researching Employers
Researching employers before the career fair can help you choose which sessions to attend, determine which questions you will ask them, and impress an employer with your knowledge. Even just knowing what an organization does will help. Here are some possible areas and ways to investigate:
- Basic Info & Recruiting Activity at BU – Look up the employer’s Handshake profile by clicking on the ‘Employers’ tab on Handshake and searching for their name. Profiles include information such as company size, employee reviews, upcoming events, and current open positions. You can also click on the employer name from the fair itself by going to ‘Career Fair Details’ and scrolling down to click on ‘View All Employers’.
- Current Initiatives – Check out the company’s recent projects on their website or the ‘News’ tab on Google. Recent projects can reveal a lot about the company’s values and current interests!
- Brand & Audience – Browse the company’s existing social media accounts to get a sense of their brand and audience.
If you want to take it a step further, you can also check out websites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, and LinkedIn to learn more about the company’s work environment from the employee perspective.
Tip #2: Choosing What to Sign Up for
Now that you’ve done your research, it’s time to decide which employers you want to talk to. The full list of companies attending the Virtual Career Fair can be found on Handshake under ‘University-Wide Virtual Career Fair Spring 2022’ by scrolling down and clicking ‘Show all employers’.
Under ‘Available Sessions’ you can see the times and types of sessions available for you to sign up for. Some of your desired sessions might clash, so make sure to think about which companies are your priorities. Here are a few things to consider:
- which companies are actively hiring for positions that you’re interested in
- which companies have less information online (making this session more important to learn about company and their positions)
- which companies have future events that you can go to instead
- which ones you have the most interest in
If an employer has no available sessions right now, don’t give up! Students will be rearranging their schedules (and employers will be adding sessions) up until March 4, so keep checking Handshake for open spots.
You can also sign up for sessions of either type until the session itself starts. For example, you can go to a group session first and then sign up for an individual session, if available.
Tip #3: Group Sessions vs. One-on-One Sessions
All available sessions are labeled on Handshake as either a ‘Group Session’ or a ‘One-on-One Session’.
A group session is a session where multiple students can talk to an employer at the same time. These sessions last for 30 minutes, and typically the employer gives a short presentation before going into a general Q&A. Group sessions are great if:
- You prefer to be with other people when talking to an employer
- You don’t know much about the employer and want to learn some general information about them
A one-on-one session is a session between one student and the one employer. These sessions last for 10 minutes. One-on-one sessions are great if:
- You want more in-depth knowledge about the employer
- You want to form a personal connection with the employer
- You want to work for the employer; one-on-ones can act as impromptu interviews, and employers may reach out to you after the career fair if they think you’re a good fit
Ready? Log in to Handshake now and explore the many employers, positions, and sessions of the University-Wide Career Fair!