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Campus-Wide Virtual Career Fair 

Monday, September 27 & Tuesday, September 28, 2021 (in person at JMU)
Friday, October 1, 2021 virtual (via Handshake virtual recruiting platform)
11am-3pm
All three dates are for students in all majors.
(Note that the virtual event on Oct. 1 will still occur even if JMU closes or has modified hours in the case of inclement weather.)

Who's Coming 

Check out the list of employers on Handshake for the most up-to-date information on which employers are coming. You are encouraged to come multiple days in order to meet all the employers. Check out this brief tutorial on researching employers before the fair.

Register on Handshake

  • Log in to Handshake and click on "Events."
  • Select the "Career Fair" or "Virtual" filters.
  • Choose the event you would like to attend.
    • Select "Spring 2021 Virtual Campus-Wide Career Fair: Government, Non-profit & Liberal Arts Industries" for the February 16th event.
    • Select "Spring 2021 Virtual Campus-Wide Career Fair: Business, Health, Sciences & Arts Industries" for the February 24th event.
  • Click the "Register" button.
  • Click the "View employer sessions" button and sign up for group and 1:1 sessions.
If you want to participate in the Career Fair, you need to sign up for group sessions or 1:1 sessions with employers.
  • Group sessions are a chance to learn more about an organization, along with other students.
  • 1:1 sessions are a chance for you to talk directly with a recruiter from an organization (much like you would approach a recruiter at a booth at an in-person Career Fair in prior years).

Registering for the in-person and/or virtual events in Handshake is important. For the in-person fair, you can check in faster and have your name tag printed for you before you go into the Festival Ballroom. If you don't have a chance to register before the in-person event, you are still welcome to attend.

For the virtual fair on Oct. 1, you have to register for the fair and choose which employers to connect with by signing up for 1:1 meetings with company representatives. Some companies will also offer group sessions for you to sign up for. You can sign up the day of the virtual fair, but earlier sign-ups are encouraged so employers have more time to connect with you before the virtual event begins.

What to Expect for Both In-Person and Virtual Career Fairs

The purpose of the fair is to learn about available jobs and internships, talk with employers, and network. We highly recommend reviewing Handshake's guide to attending virtual career fairs.

Preparation

Learn More About Virtual Fairs:

Resume:

  • Be sure that your most up-to-date resume is uploaded to Handshake prior to the career fair date.
  • Learn more about the basics of resume writing and ways to have your resume reviewed in the resume section of our website.

Identify Organizations that Interest You:

  • Before the fair, it’s important to look up the list of employers attending in Handshake:
  • Make a list of the organizations you would like to speak with first, so that you don't run out of time.
  • If you have time left over as you create your schedule, consider filling a time slot with a company you hadn’t considered before. Many employers are recruiting students who have the skills and personality that are a good fit for their organization. Though they may not have included your major or educational licensure area in their listing, they may be interested in what you could bring to the position. In fact, 50% of employers who attend the Campus-Wide Career Fair recruit ALL majors. So, don’t eliminate organizations because they haven’t specifically listed that they’re recruiting your major.

Your Introduction in 1:1 Sessions:

  • You will only have a few minutes with a recruiter (ten minutes in the virtual fair platform), so you want to prepare a succinct statement to introduce and sell your professional self. 
  • Include where you are now (your name, your academic programs, your year), where you have been (prior experiences that qualify you), and where you are going (the type of experience/position you are looking for).  
  • As the conversation with the employer progresses, you can also mention what excites you about working in this field or position, how your interests and skills align with what they might be seeking, or what you’re passionate about. Think about what might set you apart.
  • Need some practice? Record a video of yourself answering interview questions using our InterviewStream service online anytime 24/7.

Prepare Questions to Ask:

  • As you research organizations, write down your questions so you remember them during the fair. You can use employer websites, CareerBliss, Vault, and Handshake to do your research.
  • There’s nothing that makes you look less interested in an organization than not having any questions for them, so do your homework!
  • Bear in mind that your questions should not make the employer feel "put on the spot". You are demonstrating your interest in the organization.
  • This is not an appropriate time to ask questions about salary, but it’s a great time to ask questions about organization culture, training, and the selection process and timeline. 
  • Create your own questions, but here are some examples:
    • What kinds of skills and experience do you look for in the employees you hire?
    • Are graduate degrees important to advance within your organization?
    • Does your organization hire on a continual basis or during specific times of the year?
    • How many years does a typical entry-level employee stay with your organization?
    • Are there opportunities for ongoing training and professional development?
    • What made you choose to work for this organization?
  • If you prepare a written list of questions for your fair attendance, make sure to decide what you want to ask before you join your 1:1 session, so that you can maintain eye contact by looking at  your webcam rather than your notes throughout your conversation.

Dress Professionally:

  • Wear a suit if you have one, but if not don’t let that keep you from attending the Fair. 
  • You want to dress professionally and respectfully, which includes ironing your clothes.
  • It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.
  • Test your computer equipment prior to the fair and ensure your camera and microphone are working.
  • Choose a location that does not have a distracting or unprofessional background, and be sure to limit the possibility of background noise when possible.
  • Read more professional attire tips.

Possible interviews:

Talking with Employers

A recruiter’s job is to meet, recruit, and screen potential applicants, so don’t be intimidated. They want to talk with you. Many recruiters are also JMU alumni, which can be a point of connection. Here are some pointers for your conversations with recruiters.

Introduce Yourself:

  • Maintain eye contact rather than looking down at any notes as you provide your introduction (as described above).

Listen to the recruiter about organization and opportunities:

  • After you introduce yourself, the recruiter will describe and provide information about their organization and opportunities.

Dialogue:

  • The employer will expect that you ask questions, and they will ask you questions.
  • You want to demonstrate confidence, enthusiasm, and interest for the organization. Don’t say anything negative about previous employers or experiences in college.

Before the session ends, ask the recruiter:

  • For their contact information.
  • The best way to follow up with them.
  • A time frame for their hiring process.

After the Fair:

  • Send thank you emails to recruiters that you spoke with if you are still interested in their opportunities.  This can easily set you apart from other candidates!
  • Develop an organizational system to track all of the recruiters and potential job leads you find at the Career Fair and in your job search in general.

Accessibility

We want this program to be welcoming, accessible, and inclusive for all of our participants. Let us know of anything you want us to be aware of by contacting Laura Hickerson at hickerly@jmu.edu 

Questions?

Contact Laura Yu Hickerson hickerly@jmu.edu with questions.

Check out our events calendar for upcoming workshops and resume review opportunities to help you prepare. We will also be available to answer any questions you might have during the Fair.

 

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