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5 Tips to Prepare for a Virtual Career Fair

Learn how virtual career fairs work and key tips for success, and get details on SWE’s upcoming virtual career fair for professionals.
woman engineer participating in a virtual career fair
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Looking to land your next engineering role at a new company? Are you tired of sending out resumes without a response?

Virtual career fairs are a new and largely untapped market that can help you secure your next dream job. Let’s dive into how to prepare for virtual career fairs and leverage their full potential.

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is hosting a virtual career fair for engineering professionals with at least 3 years of professional experience in the engineering and technology fields post-undergraduate degree on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. Candidates and employers can find out more details and register today.

What Is a Virtual Career Fair?

Virtual career fairs use an online platform to connect professionals with prospective employers seeking top-tier talent. At a virtual career fair, candidates can connect directly with recruiters and hiring managers and have live interviews through online chats and video conferencing.

Virtual career fairs break geographical barriers, so candidates can interview for roles from a range of locations. The benefits are multifaceted: no travel expenses, greater flexibility in scheduling, an increased pool of job opportunities to explore and a valuable chance to grow your network — all from the comfort of your home!

How Does a Virtual Career Fair Work?

Virtual career fairs follow the same format as in-person career fairs; they occur at a set date and time, but the difference is the conversations take place online instead of on site.

At the SWE Virtual Career Fair for Professionals, which is designed for professionals with 3+ years of experience in the engineering and technology fields post-undergraduate degree, candidates can view the participating employers, the specific opportunities available and detailed information about each organization before the career fair begins.

Once you choose which employers you would like to interact with, you can share your resume and engage in live one-on-one chats and interviews directly with recruiters from these organizations during the career fair.

woman participating in a virtual interview on her laptop

Common Questions

Engineers likely have a few questions or concerns when considering whether to participate in a virtual career fair, the first being, “Can employers really get a sense of my personality and capabilities online?”

While a lack of personal connection is a valid concern, nearly all engineering companies have updated their hiring processes to include a virtual component since the rise of remote work. If you let your personality and career highlights shine through in the virtual interview, you can make a strong impression.

Another common question is, “Are there really high-quality jobs available at virtual career fairs?” The simple answer is, yes!

Recruiters and hiring managers from top companies seek out virtual career fairs for similar reasons that candidates do — flexibility and convenience in the hiring process. These employers have numerous positions to fill, and these events allow them to meet multiple qualified candidates in one place.

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5 Tips To Maximize Your Experience

1. Prepare and Research

Enter into the event with a clear goal in mind. Do you want to pivot into a new sector of engineering? Or aim for a higher title and pay grade? No matter what your goal is, update your resume to align with the new roles you are seeking.

Then, explore the list of participating employers at the virtual career fair so you can hone in on the companies and positions that are most interesting to you. Take some time to research the values, projects, and recent developments of your preferred companies.

2. Polish Your Online Presence

In addition to your resume, make sure your LinkedIn profile and any other professional accounts are up to date and reflective of your achievements. It’s also a good idea to test your audio and internet connection before the career fair begins to prevent any tech issues.

3. Elevate Your Interview

Prepare for a virtual interview in the same way you would prepare for an on-site interview or career fair, which includes crafting an elevator pitch and dressing professionally.

Before the event, brainstorm the talking points and metrics that highlight your expertise and the value you can add. Initiate conversations, ask insightful questions, and express genuine interest in the positions.

4. Follow Up and Stay Connected

Once the event is over, follow up with the recruiters you spoke with, as well as anyone else you meet through the course of the virtual career fair. This gives you an opportunity to express gratitude for the discussions, reiterate your interest and stay connected for future opportunities.

5. Reflect and Learn

Once you’ve finished your interviews, conversations, and follow-ups, take some time to reflect on your virtual career fair experience. Note any areas for improvement you noticed in your interviews so you can adjust your interview strategy in the future.

late career engineer participating in a virtual career fair

Even though the virtual format may be unfamiliar, with some strategic preparation and a positive mindset, you can find your next exciting engineering opportunity from the comfort of your own home.

If you have 3+ years of professional experience in the engineering and technology fields post-undergraduate degree and are looking for your next role, or if you are a company looking to fill professional-level engineering and technology positions, we invite you to join us at the SWE Virtual Career Fair for Professionals taking place May 8, 2024!

In Addition to the Virtual Career Fair, SWE Has a Variety of Resources to Help You on Your Career Journey

  • Advance Learning Center ― Explore our offering of more than 200 online courses to build a new skill or hone an existing one, many offering CEUs/PDHs.  You’re sure to find one that fits your needs and your busy schedule. New courses are constantly being developed based on identified learning needs.
  • Reentry Programs ― Looking to return to the engineering field after a career break? The STEM Reentry Task Force features a list of nearly 30 companies offering reentry programs.
  • SWE Mentor Network ― Tap into this exclusive members-only community for mentoring services from members from across the globe in your area of engineering.
  • Career Center ― SWE’s premier online recruitment resource for leading companies in the engineering and technology field committed to advancing women in STEM, with 10,000+ job postings from more than 650 employers, including the world’s largest engineering and technology firms.

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