Virtual Career Fairs

Virtual career fairs offer the opportunity for students and employers to connect in ways that transcend physical distances, at greater convenience and lower cost. While there are many benefits to participating in a virtual career fair, there are important differences between this format and physical career fairs, for both students and employers. To maximize your success, please take note of the issues and tips below specific to virtual fairs.

Technical Considerations:

  • Test your system in advance to ensure the video and audio capabilities will match what is needed for the platform. Many platforms have test links available in the help pages.
  • Use a desktop or laptop – not all platforms are mobile-optimized.
  • Have earbuds/headphones with a mic ready for video chats.
  • Set yourself up in a location that has good lighting. Have lighting directly by your face instead of to the side or behind you. If you can, sit facing a window for good natural lighting.
  • Have a non-distracting background for your video call, and use a private / quiet space.
  • Ensure that your laptop is charged and preferably plugged in throughout the fair.
  • Test out your WIFI stability, and set-up closer to your router or hotspot if needed.

Students – Communicating with Employers:

  • Wear business casual attire.
  • For text-based chats, have your short intro (elevator pitch), and answers to a few common questions typed out in advance in an open word processing document so you can cut-and-paste this information into the text chat box to save time.
  • Be positive and supportive of others in the chat rooms or open group discussions with you. Avoid making negative comments.
  • Be cautious of having multiple chats open simultaneously so that you are able to respond to individual recruiters quickly with accurate information.
  • Review the publicly shared content in the employer booth, chat room, or open discussion to get higher level of detail to complement the information already provided.
  • Thank the recruiters for their time when leaving the chat, and be sure to get contact info so you can follow-up with questions and a thank you note within 48 hours of the event.

Employers – Prepping for a Virtual Fair:

  • The online fair platform may  have options for recruiters to search for and message candidates prior to the fair
  • Be sure to set up your online booth at least 1 – 2 weeks in advance with information on organization mission and culture, job opportunities, and details on the representatives who will be participating.
  • Be ready to answer any questions about any of the content and info in your online “booth”
  • More representatives help facilitate more conversations with candidates, and shorter wait times
  • Consider how to make your virtual presence more appealing and inviting. Add photos and videos that given insight into your organization, livestream a company presentation during or before the fair, hold and prominently displaying raffles for items/food/gift cards that can be delivered to candidates. A visually unappealing booth with little information or opportunity for engagement will not attract as many candidates.
  • While swag is less feasible most of the time with virtual fairs, it is possible to have swag that can be downloaded (software, PDFs of logos and photos) and swag that can be delivered (though the cost may be higher than feasible)

Tech Support on the Day of the Virtual Fair:

Most platforms offer help pages that often include contact information for technical assistance and a FAQ. Here are the help pages for some of the platforms that have been used for virtual career fairs at MIT.

For More Information on Virtual Fairs: