What's up Doc? Tips for a successful virtual career fair – Temple Universirty College of Engineering

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Now that the semester is in full swing it’s time to talk about Career Fairs. I’m a big 76ers fan, so bear with me here.
If you’ve been watching the Sixers this season, you’ll notice they have a new head coach in Doc Rivers and are also crushing it–especially at home where they are 10-1. Now, when you think about job recruitment, think of the College of Engineering Career Fair as your home game. 
While you won’t have throngs of screaming fans there, these employers recruit here because they want to hire our students. You will never be in a friendlier recruitment environment.
These recruiters know you are likely nervous about speaking with strangers and they know for many of you, this will be your first professional experience. Many of them are also Temple Engineering alumni! But to prepare for the game err..I mean the fair, you need to practice. Ben Simmons didn’t get a triple double against Lebron James without practice. 
So, the Career Fair is the big game, and while luckily you aren’t competing against Lebron James, you are competing. I’m no Doc Rivers, but I am here to coach you so you can ultimately win the game, i.e. get a job! 
The fair this semester is virtual which changes some things, but not too much. But preparing ahead of time with a virtual fair is not only helpful, it’s mandatory. Here is a quick look at the landscape:
Test your technology ahead of time so you’re ready to go! 
Complete your Handshake Profile and upload your resume because that’s the only way employers will be able to look at it! Change your profile setting to community or employers will not be able to search for you. 
Register for the fair and sign up for 10 minutes individual sessions and/or 30 minutes group sessions with employers before the fair 
Make sure your background is employer friendly. Time to take down your black light posters. 
Have your resume reviewed by me, Mike Madera or a career coach at the Career Center. You can schedule an Appointment on Handshake.
Unsure of where to start with your resume? Check out the resume samples on the College of Engineering TUPortal tab.
Dress professionally! Think suits, dress shirts, and blazers…from the waist up at least! Sweatpants are fine, your Sixers jersey is not. 
Research the companies ahead of time! You will make a much stronger impression with companies at the fair if you show them you have done your research. Focus on 5-7 employers who really interest you. Have a general sense of the products and services they provide, the overall mission and purpose, and the size and structure of the company. You do NOT need to know everything, but you want to show your genuine interest in working for them! 
Prepare your pitch. Have a good idea of what you want to say to companies when you talk to them. Keep it brief but give a snapshot of who you are. 
Ask employers for the best way to follow-up with them and then do so! A common mistake students make after the fair is not following up with employers. Reach out to thank them for their time and if applicable let them know you have applied for a position. 
For an example of what to say in your elevator pitch and follow-up check out the Career Fair Prep Resource and Professional Communication Resource on TUportal.
Unlike an in person fair where you might be able to just show up dressed nicely and schmooze with companies, a virtual fair requires you to book sessions with employers ahead of time. 
These are just some of the tips I have for how to be successful at the Virtual Career Fair. I encourage you all to attend a Career Fair Prep session being held today to learn more. There is an evening session, too. 
Mike and I are here to help coach you but you have to show up for practice, or you know, schedule an appointment with us!
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