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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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How to Prepare for a Virtual Career Fair

Graphic+by+Amann+Ghuman.

Graphic by Amann Ghuman.

If you are looking into attending a virtual career fair held by Stanislaus State but do not know what to expect, here are a few tips and tricks to be career-fair ready.
Many of the university’s virtual career fairs are hosted via Handshake, an online job finding platform that can also be accessed through one’s MyStanState student portal.
There are many helpful steps that this platform offers in order for one to be ready for these events.
For example, Handshake suggests that one should make sure your graduation date, school year, major, GPA and work authorization are correct on your profile prior to an interview because recruiters use profile information to invite students to one-on-one sessions.
Another step is to upload your resume to your “Documents” section and set it to visible because recruiters share resumes with hiring managers after an event.
Handshake partnered with thousands of schools in help of students and individuals everywhere.
According to Handshake’s article Attending a Virtual Career Fair? Here Are 10 Tips You Need to Know, in preparation of the fair, an attendee should update their Handshake profile, find out what employers are attending, research the employers you want to meet, and prepare talking points.
The article suggests that on the day of one should dress professionally, find a quiet space, and have a neutral background. During your virtual sessions, arrive on time, maintain eye contact, practice active listening and ask questions. The day after they fair, keep the momentum going from your sessions with the employers and apply to their open jobs or internships.
The typical rundown of these events start off by registering oneself virtually via Handshake.
Once you have successfully registered for an event on Handshake, using the “Events” feature located on the top left of Handshake’s website, one may begin scheduling sessions with the companies attending.
There are hundreds of companies that attend these career fairs as well as hundreds of students, which is why it is imperative and highly recommended that one schedules sessions as soon as possible in order to guarantee that they will meet with their desired company.
Luckily, Manraj Singh (senior, Business Administration) attended the HSI Virtual Career Fair that took place on February 24 via Handshake and shared some of his experiences and advice for anyone considering on attending a future event.
“I would say that it is really important to book sessions with companies that align with your interests, as well as prioritize the company that you want to meet with first,” Singh said. 
“Another piece of information that I wish I knew prior to the fair was to give yourself some cushion time in between sessions because I booked back-to-back, and my sessions ended up overlapping one another since they took longer than the allotted time,” he continued.
Getting Ready For The Fair
Evelyn Ramos, a career coach in the career and professional development center at Stan State, shared some pointers from a facilitator perspective as to how one can best prepare for these events.
“For starters, I would definitely encourage attending our job for success workshop just to do a more general overview because they get into the nitty gritty stuff about these events,” Ramos said.
Ramos mentioned that Stan State offers a number of workshps that are based around being career-ready, including the Ask Me Anything: Career Fair Focused Workshop, Spring 22 Virtual Career Fair and Interview 101.
Ramos explained how student could benefit from these events and why they should attend.
“It is definitely something we encourage students and individuals to attend for that one-on-one opportunity to connect with a recruiter,” Ramos said.
“Often times when you apply for jobs, you just kind of submit a resume and you don’t really make that connection, but we know that connections with people is usually what helps you get a position or an interview,” she continued.
Another incentive to attend is that job fairs are a way for students to not only learn about multiple different companies, but to also have companies that you are interested in learning about you.
Thanks to Handshake.com and to campus community members of Stan State, there are first-hand experiences and insights as to how to best prepare oneself when attending these virtual events.
For more information on career-based workshops/events visit the University’s Event Calendar. If you wish to clarify any other questions pertaining to all matters in career/professional development, feel free to contact Evelyn Ramos via email at [email protected].

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How to Prepare for a Virtual Career Fair