On Thursday, Sept. 10, Binghamton University will be holding its annual Job and Internship Fair online. Students may be concerned about etiquette and standing out when they aren’t able to physically interact with potential employers. With over 70 employers registered to attend, setting yourself apart from other students is necessary. Here are some tips for making the most of the virtual Job and Internship Fair.
Make sure your technology is working.
This one is obvious. If your computer’s audio or video is malfunctioning, you won’t be able to fully participate in the event. The fair will be held through Handshake, which uses Twilio, not Zoom, which may cause issues if you use a browser besides Chrome or Firefox. Head to the Twilio website to run a network test prior to the fair, and make sure everything runs smoothly on Thursday.
Update your resume and your LinkedIn and Handshake profiles.
Having a strong profile will help you stand out. Potential employers look to your resume and online profiles to see if you are a favorable job candidate, so it’s important your information is up to date. Your profile should not just reflect the jobs you have taken, but also the transferable skills that employers are looking for. Tailor your resume to the type of job to which you wish to apply to increase your chances of getting noticed.
Do research on the attending employers.
Do you know who will be at the Job and Internship Fair? Do you know what positions they’re offering? Do you know what they’re looking for in applicants? Knowing the employers you may meet during the fair will give you an advantage in making a good first impression.
Prepare an elevator pitch.
Speaking of good first impressions, having an elevator pitch on hand is a great way to briefly let employers know why you deserve to be hired. Imagine you run into a potential employer on an elevator, and have about 30 seconds to tell them everything they need to know about you. What would you say? Your elevator pitch should outline who you are and why you should be hired over anyone else at the fair — what can you bring to the position? What makes you special? A striking elevator talk will leave employers wanting to know more about you.
Find a good location.
Choose a location with minimal distractions, both for you and for employers. Secure your location before the fair; if you’re living with roommates, make sure they know to remain quiet while you are speaking with employers. A neutral background is always better than a cluttered one. You will seem more professional and potential employers will be better able to focus on you and what you have to offer as an employee, rather than distractions in your background.
Dress brightly and professionally.
Just because the fair is online, that should not be an excuse to dress down. Wear professional attire as you would at the in-person event. Bright colors will help you stand out among all the other students. Catching an employer’s eye is the first step to earning their attention.
While talking to employers, speak with confidence. Have a list of prepared questions, if that helps you assert yourself. Speak professionally, calmly and boldly, and employers will know that you are the one to hire.