3 Essential Virtual Career Fair Tips from Employers

Read these employer tips before your next virtual recruitment event.

Guidance Provided By: The Handshake Team

Virtual career fairs on Handshake are one of the best ways for you to connect with employers that want to hire you. You can sign up early for DePaul’s Winter Career Fair to attend sessions with the employers you’re interested in, to learn about jobs and internships for students like you at your school. Group and one-on-one sessions will help you get an inside look at employers and find companies you’d like to work for.

But what are employers looking for during these sessions, and how can you stand out from the crowd? Here are three tips from employers that will help you impress them and get on their list of potential job candidates.

Be prepared and curious

Once you’ve filled up your schedule of virtual sessions, it’s important to research the employers you’ll be meeting with. Start by reading through their page on Handshake to get an overview of the organization and read student reviews. Then you can expand your research by looking at their company website, and doing a quick online search for recent news articles, press releases and other information. 

Have a short list of questions ready to ask employers during your sessions. What do you want to learn more about? What questions will help you decide if the company is a good fit for you? You can ask about company culture, professional development opportunities, mentorship programs, and more.

Make sure to check out the open jobs and internships on the employer’s Handshake page. They are looking for students to hire at virtual career fairs, so chances are they’ll want to discuss current opportunities with you during the session. 

Arrive on time and stick around

The easiest way to make a great first impression with employers is to be on time for your sessions. You can enter a video session five minutes before the session begins. It’s a good idea to set phone alerts or calendar reminders for your sessions, to ensure you’re logged into Handshake and ready to go.

It’s also really important that you stay for the entire session. If you have a one-on-one session with an employer, you wouldn’t dream of logging out early, right? Well, the same goes for any group session you’re attending.

Maybe the session isn’t quite what you thought you were signing up for, or all of your questions were answered early. Doesn’t matter—just like you, employers have busy schedules and their time is valuable. Being on time and staying until the end of a session demonstrates that you’re responsible and respectful.

Get ready to hit send on your follow-up

Prepare a draft of your follow-up message to an employer before you attend their session. That way, you’ll be a step ahead once the session is over. Start by thanking the employer ambassador for their time and for sharing information about the organization. Then, include something specific you enjoyed discussing or learning about, and reiterate your interest in the company. Finally, indicate that you’re taking next steps such as applying for an open job. 

If you have drafts ready before the fair, you can quickly edit and send them after your sessions—and be one of the first students to follow up. This will definitely help you stand out to employers!

Want more useful tips? Check out our guide to attending virtual career fairs.

The 3 Must-Haves on Your Handshake Profile

Guidance Provided By: The Handshake Team


Want to quickly and easily increase your chances of finding the job you want on Handshake? Add your job interests to your profile.

When you fill in your interests, two really great things happen:

  1. Handshake sends you better, more relevant job recommendations.
  2. You’re more likely to have a recruiter message you! 80% of students who share their interests on Handshake receive a message from a recruiter. The more you include, the better your chances of having a recruiter find you.

That’s a pretty big return on not a lot of work. And the best part is—filling out your interests is as easy as sharing your opinion with us. Who knows what you like and don’t like better than you?

What are your job interests?

The “Your Interests” section of your Handshake profile includes:

  • Job type
  • Location
  • Job role

These are the most common fields that employers use to search for potential candidates—so including them in your profile is essential to getting recruited.

What are you looking for?

  • Job type: select part-time job, full-time job, or internship. Looking for a part-time job for now and an internship for next summer? You can select more than one job type, and we’ll share recommendations for each.
  • Job location: choose the cities that you’d like to live and work in. There are thousands of incredible employers on Handshake from every corner of the country, so we recommend being open to exploring jobs in a few different locations.
  • Job roles: select at least three job roles that interest you. We’ll give you suggestions based on your major, school and city. You can also search our job role pages to learn more about what you’d like to do.

You may be thinking “What if I don’t know what I’m looking for?” That’s ok. We’ll give you some suggestions. And, like the rest of your profile information, you can always change your interests later.

Handshake helped me get two jobs so far. Unlike other sites where I have to dig through and filter out jobs, Handshake has jobs organized and sorted for you. It saves time and gives me a better understanding of the job I’m looking for.

– Neha

Your Handshake profile is the key to finding jobs and internships that are right for you, and getting recruited by the employers you want to work for.

Ready to find the right job or internship for you? Log in to Handshake and fill in your interests today!

The Job Search Myths That Could Keep You From Getting Hired on Handshake

We’re setting the record straight to help you get the job you want.

Guidance Provided By: The Handshake Team

Handshake is here to help DePaul University students and graduates find great jobs and internships. And we want to clear a few things up! So we’ve collected some common misconceptions about your profile, employer events, applications, and more. Read below to learn the truth about your job search and how to really find the right job for you on Handshake.

It’s not that important to update my Handshake profile, because employers don’t look at it.

Completing and updating your profile may just be the most important thing you can do on Handshake to get hired! Employers who are hiring at your school are searching for candidates based on the information on their profiles: the roles they’re looking for, the cities they want to work in, the skills they have, etc. So it’s extremely important that you fill out all of your interests and experiences in your profile. This will help recruiters find you for the jobs that match what you’re looking for.

I can’t apply for a job if I don’t match the employer’s preferences.

When posting a job or internship, employers may select “preferences” or qualifications that they’re looking for in potential candidates. These preferences, like major, GPA or school year, will show up when you click on the details of a job posting, and Handshake will tell you which preferences match your profile. Think of them as a guide that can help you understand if you’re a good match for the job. 

However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t apply for the job if you don’t match all of the preferences. If you’re interested in the job, you can definitely still apply. If there are other required documents, like a cover letter, as part of the application, that is where you can shine and tell the employer why you think you’re a great candidate.

It’s better to apply for a job on an employer’s website, instead of applying on Handshake.

While some job postings may take you to an external application, you can apply for many jobs right on Handshake in a few clicks. And rest assured that if an employer accepts applications on Handshake, recruiters are actively viewing those applications. But don’t take our word for it, check out just a few of the success stories from students who have been hired!

I don’t think the top employers are recruiting students in my major or at my school.

The main goal of Handshake is to connect students to the right job opportunities, no matter who they are or where they go to school. And that’s exactly why more than 500,000 incredible employers are hiring here—they can recruit from any corner of the country without leaving the office. 

And since Handshake is connected to DePaul University’s Career Center, all of the jobs you see are meant for DePaul students and graduates.

I’m in my first year of school, so I don’t need Handshake yet.

Even if you’re just starting out and not sure what you want to do yet, you can learn a lot about careers and employers on Handshake. You can find part-time and on-campus jobs, explore careers that students at your school and in your major pursue, read employer and internship reviews from other students and recent grads, and much more. Plus, it’s never too early to start looking for your first internship! There are opportunities for every student no matter your school year. 

If you’re a recent grad and don’t have your @depaul.edu email address, you can use a personal or generic email address to sign up for Handshake. After you sign up, someone from DePaul University Career Center will approve your account to get you set up. 

You can’t really make a connection with employers at virtual recruiting events.

Employers are changing the way they’re hiring students. Recruiting is now nearly all virtual, so virtual recruiting events are an essential way to learn about who’s hiring at your school and connect with companies that will want to hire you.

A major benefit of attending virtual events is that you don’t have to wait in line for a chance to talk to popular employers. When you register for a virtual recruiting event on Handshake, you sign up for session times with the employers you want to meet. These sessions will help you make a personal connection with employer ambassadors and learn about current job and internship opportunities.

There isn’t an easy way to share my resume with the employers I meet at virtual recruiting events.

Once you’ve created your resume, you can easily share your resume with employers by uploading it to your Handshake profile and making it visible. If you’ve previously uploaded your resume, double check that it’s marked as visible so that employers can view it. After you attend a virtual career fair, employers will have access to your resume when they download a list of participants from their sessions. 

Learn how to check your resume’s visibility.

Log into depaul.joinhandshake.com to put this new knowledge into practice and refresh your job search!

How to Get an Internship or Job When Hiring is All Virtual

Learn how to navigate virtual recruitment and stand out to employers online.

Guidance Provided By: The Handshake Team

Recruiting season may look different this year, but luckily thousands of employers are searching for students on Handshake. So, how can you be ready to land your next job or internship virtually this year? Follow these steps to make the most of your online job hunt. 

Complete your Handshake profile

This is always our first piece of advice for student job seekers, because your profile is fundamental to getting hired on Handshake. Employers are searching for students to recruit based on the information in their profiles such as major, graduation date, and interests (job type, cities, roles). And you can highlight all of the things that make you uniquely qualified including your courses, organizations, work experience and skills. When you complete your profile, you’ll be more likely to receive direct messages from employers inviting you to events or to apply for jobs.

The next step is crafting your resume with the information included in your profile. Upload and save your resume to your Handshake account so it’s ready when you’re applying to jobs. You can upload more than one version of your resume—so consider adapting it for different roles that you want to apply for.

Start networking online

You’ve probably heard that networking is important, and it can sound a bit intimidating. But “networking” really just means making a connection with someone from your school, extracurriculars, volunteer groups—or just reaching out to someone you don’t know who shares the same professional interests. There are many different ways to start networking online. 

Find alumni of your school on Handshake who have or had roles that you’re interested in and send them a message. Introduce yourself and tell them you’d like to learn more about their experience. Ask them a question you have about their organization or how they began their career. And don’t forget to thank them in advance for connecting and sharing their advice.

Try looking for online professional interest groups to make connections with people in the fields that you’re exploring. It may take some research; you can also reach out to your professors or club leaders for their suggestions.

Stay up-to date on employers 

When you see an employer on Handshake that you like, click the Follow button on their page. If you’re on the Handshake app, click the star button. Following employers on Handshake is so useful because you’ll receive email alerts when they post new jobs and events. Plus, it helps improve your job recommendations. The more you explore and follow employers you’d like to work for, the more relevant your recommendations become.

Additionally, you can set search engine alerts for your top employers and follow their social media accounts. These are easy ways to learn about new initiatives, jobs, and other notable updates on their organization. 

Attend virtual recruiting events

One of the biggest opportunities to connect with employers this year is at virtual events on Handshake. Employers are hosting group and 1:1 sessions to give students a look at their organizations and to recruit for open jobs and internships. Be sure to check your email for event announcements and log in often to see upcoming events for students at your school. You’ll also be notified when employers you follow are attending virtual fairs on Handshake. 

When you register for a virtual fair, you can sign up early for sessions with the employers you want to meet and learn more about—a major advantage over traditional career fairs. Don’t miss these prime recruiting opportunities! 

Read our guide to virtual events, with tips and tricks to know before you attend.

Practice for virtual interviews

Just like in-person interviews, it takes some practice to get comfortable with virtual interviews. This is the time to call in some reinforcements. Ask a friend or family member to help you practice. Start with your “elevator pitch”—a brief introduction about you, your background and career goals. Then have them ask you a few common interview questions and ask them for any feedback on your answers. While you don’t need to memorize exactly what you’ll say, it’s very important to get more comfortable answering interview questions. 

Check out our post with more ways to impress employers during a virtual interview.

Chat with your career center

Your school’s career center staff are an incredible resource, so take advantage of their knowledge. They can answer your job and internship questions, help you craft your resume and cover letters, or even practice for virtual interviews. They also have insight on employers that are hiring at your school and those that may have strong alumni networks. Call your career center and schedule an appointment—they’ll be happy to help you. 

Apply apply apply

You can’t get a job if you don’t apply, right? It may go without saying, but you’ll greatly increase your chances of getting hired if you apply to a lot of open jobs. And try to keep an open mind, especially if you’re not quite sure what you want to do. Now is the time to gain different experiences and learn what you do and don’t like about a job. 

Luckily Handshake will surface recommendations based on your profile, to help you find the jobs you want to apply for. Once you have your profile filled in and resumes uploaded, you’ll be able to apply to many jobs on Handshake in just a few clicks.

Be proactive and follow up

No matter where your job search takes you, be consistent and follow up. Whether it’s a message from an employer, an application, virtual event or interview—always consider three p’s: be proactive, prompt and polite. For interviews, whether informational or for an open job, it’s best practice to send a thank you note within 24 hours. In your thank you note, share something specific that you enjoyed learning or talking about, and reiterate your interest in the job, career path, etc. 

If you discussed an open job or internship with an employer during a virtual event, make sure to apply as soon as possible. If the employers shared their contact information with you, send them a note thanking them and letting them know you’ve applied.

Your online actions are especially important when recruiting is virtual. If you can’t make a great impression in person, it’s best to be extra responsive and appreciative to the connections you make online. 

Log into Handshake now to get started on your virtual job search!

Virtual Career Fairs: What You Need to Know

If you are seeking a new job or internship, check out a Virtual Career Fair! Virtual Career Fairs such as the upcoming DePaul Spring Career Fair provide an opportunity for students and employers to connect in an online environment about job and internship opportunities through video and text chat.

How Do I Prepare?


Research the Companies

Treat a Virtual Career Fair the same way as you would an in-person one, by researching the companies that will be in attendance beforehand. Pay attention to the work that they do, the opportunities available, and the mission statement of the organization. Develop questions for the recruiters based on your research in advance. 

Find a Quiet Space

Log in to a Virtual Career Fair from a quiet place where you’ll be able to stage a professional background. Don’t forget to tell your family and/or roommates that you’re attending a virtual fair, so they don’t accidentally interrupt you. This will help ensure that employers have their attention on you rather than your surroundings.

Tech Double Check

Make sure to test your internet connection prior to attending a Virtual Career Fair by opening up Handshake and CareerEco. We’d recommend using your laptop or computer rather than your phone to avoid tech issues. 

  • Pro-tip: Don’t forget to check the Browser you are using, ensuring that you have Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox installed on your computer. These are the ONLY browsers that will support the chat functions in CareerEco. 

Make (Virtual) Eye Contact

When your focus is elsewhere on the screen during a virtual career fair, it can be seen as unprofessional. Make sure that you keep your eyes on the employer to show your interest and excitement.

FAQs for the DePaul Virtual Spring Career Fair



When is the DePaul Virtual Spring Career Fair
?

Wednesday, May 13th 2020, 3:00pm –  6:00pm CDT
Register at: careereco.com/events/depaul
*please use the same email address you used to register for Handshake*

What steps should I take to prepare?

  1. Create your CareerEco Account. Visit careereco.com/events/depaul to create and confirm your account. Then, complete your profile and sign up for the fair. 
  2. Prepare your documents. Career Advisors are available to help you with your resume. Click here to Schedule an appointment to have yours reviewed before the fair. 
  3. Check your Browser. Ensure you have Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox installed on your computer. These are the ONLY browsers that will support the chat functions in CareerEco. *Use a desktop or laptop for this event* 
  4. Review how CareerEco works: We encourage you to watch the entire CareerEco tutorial to best understand how the career fair will work.

    • Employer Messages: Employers can send you messages in the system, so be sure to check in frequently to make sure you aren’t missing anything. 
    • Review Chat Hours: Employers will have different schedules of availability during the virtual career fair. Know when the employers you are interested in will be available so you don’t miss the opportunity to chat with them.
  5. Dress Professionally: Although this is a virtual fair, employers can request a video chat, so dress just like you would if you were going for an in-person interview. Looking professional helps you get in the right frame of mind to talk with employers and exude confidence in the process.

How do I find job postings?

Once you are registered, log into CareerEco and click the Job Board tab. Job postings will be available from each company with instructions on how to apply. 

How do the chat rooms work?

The virtual fair will be a series of chat rooms.  Each employer will have a chat room (just as each employer has a booth/table at an in-person career fair).  View job postings and general company information in each chat room, and chat with employers in a group.  You can also chat 1:1 with employers via text, audio or video.  

What is a private chat?

Recruiters can invite individuals to a private chat room. There will be a notification next to the recruiters name, participants will be able to accept the chat once opened. Only the recruiter will be able to initiate the private chat room. 

How can I make the most of this virtual fair?

Prepare, research, and be resume ready! Research the companies either on Handshake or CareerEco to see available job postings, express interest before the fair on CareerEco by clicking the blue checkmark next to the company’s name. Prepare to talk about your skills and work experiences. 

How do I stand out at a virtual career fair?

Upload your resume to CareerEco when you set up your account. Companies may begin screening resumes prior to the event and also invite you to visit their specific chat sessions and/or schedule video interviews before, during, or after the event hours.

Get a Job Online as a College Student: 4 Tips From Recruiters

Guidance Provided By: The Handshake Team


 

Thanks to Handshake and other digital tools, employers are increasingly focused on recruiting college students online.

As a job seeker, this is great news for you. It means you can find your next job or internship without having to rely on multiple in-person meetings with recruiters. How can you utilize Handshake to find a job virtually? Here are four helpful tips from recruiters.

1. Fill out your Handshake profile

The most important step to landing a job or internship on Handshake is filling out your profile. Employers are searching for students on Handshake based on the information in their profiles, and messaging candidates with event invites or to encourage them to apply for new job opportunities.

That’s why completing your profile, and keeping it up-to-date, is essential. Beyond the basic information like your major and graduation date, make sure to fill out your job interests, work experience, skills, courses, and clubs and organizations you’re involved with. The more information you provide, the easier it is for recruiters to find you!

2. Attend virtual events

Employers like IBM and Under Armour often host virtual events on Handshake to connect with students from across the country. Attending these events is a unique way to meet employees at the companies you want to work for. Virtual events also give you an opportunity to learn more about a company before applying for a job.

Be sure to check Handshake for new events and sign up for behind-the-scenes tours, coffee chats, and Q&A sessions, so you can get an inside look at your next potential employer.

“Handshake helps us expand our reach and create more meaningful connections with students from all backgrounds.”

Jeremy Buentello, IBM

3. Showcase your soft skills

As mentioned, skills are an important part of your Handshake profile. The hard skills you’ve developed in the classroom, at work, or through extracurriculars—such as digital marketing or a programming language—help you stand out to employers looking for students like you. However, don’t forget to include soft skills like communication, problem solving, collaboration, and creativity.

According to a recent survey of hiring managers, 92 percent said that soft skills matter as much or more than hard skills when they’re hiring. When preparing for an interview, try to think of specific projects or experiences that you can talk about to illustrate how you’ve applied these skills in your life.

“We’re fighting the misconception that you need an engineering background to join a tech company. Sourcing tools on Handshake are crucial for us in connecting with the students who are going to get the most value out of our fellowship.”

Emily Vogel, Box

4. Reply to recruiters ASAP

Last year, employers sent more than 16 million messages to students on Handshake. Typically, recruiters send messages to invite students to networking events or encourage them to apply for new opportunities. Chatting with a recruiter on Handshake is a great way to make a personal connection to the companies you want to work for, and helps distinguish you from other candidates.

So, when you get a message from a recruiter, make sure to reply as soon as you can. Download the Handshake app in the App Store or Google Play, so you can be notified when you get a message.

Log in to Handshake today to start getting recruited for your next job!