Virtual Career Fairs Tips & FAQs for Students

NUworks Virtual Career Fair Tips & FAQs for Students

Career fairs are a great opportunity to explore your interests, learn more about different organizations, and become more skilled at job market research and networking. A virtual career fair is similar to an in-person career fair in that recruiters are available to talk to prospective hires. You can chat online with different employers and ask questions about available positions or industry trends (the only difference may be that in some cases, you may not be able to see them on video). In return, they may ask you questions about your program of study and career interests. Be prepared, be yourself, and make sure to upload polished documents free of any spelling or grammatical errors.

To view the fairs with dates, times and registration links click here.

Follow the tips below and review the FAQs for a successful experience!

To register for the Career Fair(s):

Complete the following steps, ideally after you have updated your profile and uploaded a current resume in NUworks (see “Before Career Fair” section below for key tips):

  1. Go to Events > Career Fairs and select the fair you want to attend.
  2. Select the red ATTEND button on the right side of your screen. You will be prompted to complete your Chat Profile (this is the same as your NUworks Profile).
  3. If you have uploaded multiple resumes to NUworks, select the one you would like employers at that fair to see. Click the SAVE button to complete registration.
  4. You will notice a Green “You’re Attending” ribbon across your screen.
  5. To indicate your interest in specific companies, click the ‘Employers’ tab. From the employers’ list, click on the star to the right of the company name of any employers you are interested in. This will bring all the interested companies to the top of the employer list for you. This also signals your interest to employers who will be able to search a list of students interested in their company.

Before the Virtual Career Fairs:

  1. Update your Profile

In the weeks before the fair(s) you want to attend and ideally, before registering, go into your NUworks student account, update your profile and upload a current resume. Without a completed profile, employers cannot identify you as an active candidate.

Double-check your Graduation Date, Major, Degree Level, and Work Authorization status. This information pulls from your NU student account. The Major field is limited to a single value at this time. Please check your current information on myNortheastern and inform the registrar of any inaccuracies.

  1. Identify Companies of Interest

Understand who will be there. What companies will be attending? What industries are being represented? What size are the companies in attendance?

Ask yourself what you are looking for. What are your career interests and goals? Which of the companies might offer employment related to your major? Do you have internships or other experiences that might make you attractive to a particular company? What are your strengths?

Consider other factors, e.g., geography—are there companies with branches in preferred locations? Would you prefer a startup or an established corporation? Are they known for a particular work culture that would appeal to you?

  1. To indicate your interest in specific companies, click the ‘Employers’ tab. From the employers’ list, click on the star to the right of the company name of any employers you are interested in. This will bring all the interested companies to the top of the employer list for you. This also signals your interest to employers who will be able to search a list of students interested in their company.
  2. Craft your Professional Introduction for use when meeting employers. Always know who you are talking to and who they represent (division or job function) to discuss your background’s most relevant aspects. Tailor your story for each company representative so that you can better address their needs. For example, if it is a startup and you have an entrepreneurial mindset, then emphasize that aspect. If the position requires a finance background, emphasize related coursework and experience.
  3. Take advantage of Career Design coaching labs and Canvas modules to generate effective profiles and resumes and learn effective networking and interviewing techniques.

Day of the Virtual Career Fair:

  1. Log into your NUworks Account
  2. Go to Events > Career Fairs and select the fair you are attending.
  3. Select the company you want to chat with.
  4. To the right of the company name is this “Join Queue” icon.
  5. Click on the “Join Queue” to get in line to talk with the employer.
  6. You will see the number of employers online for that company and the estimated wait time. You are now in line.
  7. When the employer is ready, you will be prompted with a Chat Request and the instructions on how to connect – you will see their status as “Ready to chat.”
  8. Select the “Join Chat” button.  When you click to join the chat, a new window will open with a clock in the screen’s upper right corner. The clock will start counting down. Chat time may vary by employer.
  9. Use the information provided by the employer in the Video Chat Instructions to join the virtual meeting (employers may be using different platforms such as Teams, Zoom, or WebEx).  Since the clock is running, it will be important to do this right away.
  10. Chat with the employer for the allotted time (the rep may add two additional minutes if the time needs to be extended). See these tips on how to ensure a productive conversation.
  11. Once the clock time is up, you can finish the conversation (there won’t be a hard stop that disconnects you automatically).
  12. Select the “Leave Queue” button to exit the conversation.
  13. Take a few notes while the conversation is fresh in your mind to capture names, impressions, questions for future follow-up, or anything else of significance. You can go back into your account later to review notes.
  14. Go to the next employer.

After the Virtual Career Fair:

Log in and review your Notes, follow-up with employers if necessary, and send thank you notes to employers (see FAQs for more detailed advice on key aspects of follow up – a key element of the job hunting process!).

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I search employers or see who is attending a particular fair?

Students can see who is attending a career fair before you register for that fair.  You can begin researching the companies immediately after a company has registered.

Log into your NUworks account. Navigate to EVENTS>Career Fairs. Click the Employer tab to view a list of employers. You can search this list by company name and the types of recruiting the employer is doing at the fair, including filtering by skills, location, and CPT/OPT.

From the employers’ list, click on the star to the right of the company name of any employers you are interested in. This will bring all the interested companies to the top of the employer list for you.  This also signals your interest to employers who will be able to search a list of students interested in their company.

Why should I update my NUworks account before a virtual career fair?

Employers can access an electronic Resume Book and view resumes/batch email students 5 weeks before the fair date. Employers will also be able to see the students who have RSVP’d for the event and their resumes/account information. This is why it is important to provide them the fullest information and most up to date profile/resume.

Do students have to sign-up/reserve spots to talk to representatives?

Students select which companies they want to talk to on the fair day and then get in the queue to speak with employers.

How do students know how long a line is or wait time?

There will be an estimated wait time for students to see.

 Why is an employer listed as “busy”?

If an employer needs to take a break, they can set their status to “busy,” or chatting with a student will show “busy.”

 How many queues can a student be in at one time?

You can be in three queues at the same time.

What happens if I am in one queue and an opening in another queue becomes available?

You will hear an audio alert and see a pop-up alert when the employer invites a student from the queue to chat. If you accept the chat, you will not lose your spot in the other queue. The other employer will see that you are busy and select the next person in their queue. Your spot in that queue will remain, and you will be next in line to chat with that employer.

What happens if career fair time is up and I am still in a queue?

Students in a queue when the career fair is over will remain in the queue and can finish the queue with this company if the employer chooses to stay online.

What happens if the career fair time is up and the representative goes off-line because the fair is over?

If the recruiter opts to leave the career fair at the exact time the fair is over, all remaining students in that queue will see the representative is now off-line and not available. The resumes of all students left in the queue will be sent to that recruiter.

What are Notes used for?

At the end of each chat, students can make notes on their conversation before moving on to chat with another employer. This is a helpful way to capture names, impressions, questions for future follow-up, and anything else that seemed significant. You can go back into your account later to review your notes.

Will employers see my notes?

No. The notes are only viewable by the student.

You can go back and review or download your notes by following these instructions 

Find the event under Events > Career Fairs, then click the Past tab.

From the event, click on the Video Chats tab.  Click on any company to review your notes.

How do I get help preparing for the Fair?

Attend any of Career Design’s recurring weekly coaching labs on resumes, LinkedIn branding, networking, interviewing, and other relevant topics. Check out the schedule and descriptions. There will also be Career Fair prep workshops the week of October 5th daily from 1–2 pm EDT. And you can always drop into the Career Studio with questions: regular hours are 1:30–4:30 pm EDT with extended hours from 1:30–7 pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

How do I get help on the day of the fair?

  • The Career Studio is open 11 am-4 pm for advising questions that arise during the career fairs (note: regular hours are 1:30–4:30 pm EDT with extended hours from 1:30–7 pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays).
  • You can also call (617) 373- 2430 or email us at careers@northeastern.edu.

How Do I Follow Up After the Career Fair?

The most important part of the career fair actually happens afterward!  Follow-up is critical. Don’t lose whatever momentum may have been gained from your chat with an employer! Follow up within a 24-48 hour period to thank the recruiter for their time. Their business card or other contact information provided at the fair will help direct your thank you note to the right person.

Most thank you notes are sent by email, but mailing handwritten notes or letters on stationery can also be a nice touch. Either way, thank the employer and reiterate why you would be a good match for whatever position you are most interested in. Include specific details from your conversation to set your note apart. For instance, “You mentioned that you really like the city of Chicago, and I completely agree — I would love to live there and to work for your company (mention it by name)!”

It is helpful to use the NUworks notes function or other means to capture such details while fresh in your mind. Keep track of all of the companies you met with and what was discussed—doing so immediately after each encounter helps capture details while they are fresh in your mind. Career fairs can be very busy and filled with many conversations. The more your notes can help refresh your memory, the better.

Remember: the company representative met with many people; your note may only be the second time they interact with you.  Present yourself professionally; show you can add value to the company, and remind the recruiter of the great interaction you had! What did the employer say they were looking for? Remind them why you are suitable to fill the need that they identified. Also, try connecting with a mission statement or stated purpose of their company. If their company says that their mission is to send people to Mars and perform research to accomplish this goal, emphasize how much you care about the goal of space exploration and emphasize how that goal matters to you. The more you show that you are a good fit for their company, the more likely they will consider hiring you.