Earlier this month, Lund University arranged its first ever virtual career fair. The online event was a great success, with over 1,000 attendees eager to virtually meet the 24 companies participating in the fair.
I interviewed Marie Norén, Gig Manager at Gigstep, which was one of the 24 participating companies, about her experience participating in the virtual career fair.
Tell me about your experience of the virtual career fair – how was it?
– We had some great dialogues with potential employees for upcoming assignments. The people we chatted with were curious, asked relevant questions and gave the impression of being well briefed about our company.
Do you have any previous experience of recruiting from virtual fairs?
– Gigstep hasn’t done anything like this before and to be honest, we were a bit skeptical at first. The face-to-face interaction you get during a physical job fair has been crucial for us. But the virtual fair was a very positive experience, we very much enjoyed it.
At the fair, how did you “meet” the attendees and establish contact?
– The setup with different conversation windows and virtual exhibition stands actually made it easier to establish contact with attendees. The chat was very useful and allowed several representatives from companies to have a dialogue with several different attendees. Our virtual exhibition stand also made it easier for us to convey our brand, as we could include ads, descriptions of our organisation as well as including visual elements such as pictures and videos.
What are some of the pros and cons of a virtual career fair?
– At a” regular” job fair it’s sometimes hard to take in all impressions, since you meet so many different people. In our experience, the virtual fair was calmer with more qualitative dialogues through the chat. And another great thing is that the virtual fair makes it easy to link to our webpage, a relevant ad or to connect with each other on LinkedIn. However, I do prefer to meet people face-to-face because it’s a better way to develop a relationship with one another.
As an attendee, what can you do to prepare for a virtual fair?
– It’s always impressive when you notice that a person has visited your company’s webpage. Curiosity is key! Asking relevant questions is always a good idea. And also, it’s good to have thought about some of your strengths and weaknesses as well as your goals for your career path.
What are your best tips for students/alumni when participating in a virtual career fair? Any do’s and don’ts?
– It’s good to have a well-thought out presentation prepared for when you are going to be chatting with companies. And if there’s a company that you are extra interested in, it’s a good idea to follow up afterwards, either by email or a PM on LinkedIn. Lastly, be yourself. If you are a person who uses smileys in a text for example, do that!