The College of Computing & Informatics' (CCI) Fall Career Networking Event, presented annually by our Corporate Partners Program, will take place virtually this year. Whether you’re a student looking for a co-op position or a recruiter hoping to connect with dynamic tech talent, the online format will be a significant change from our traditional on-campus event, and you may be wondering what to expect.
We chatted with Hannah Angello (University & Recruiting Partnerships Lead for our Corporate Partner Vanguard) to get her insight on how to prepare yourself to make meaningful connections at a virtual career fair. Read our conversation below to get her advice from a recruiter’s perspective – and don’t forget to RSVP for the Virtual Career Networking Event on November 12.
CCI: As a recruiter, what are some of the perks of doing a career event online (versus a traditional in-person event)?
Hannah Angello: In the virtual world, you don't have to worry about the long lines or the large crowds. You can spend time 1-1 time with students without any distractions.
I also value the accessibility of virtual events. Any student can access a career fair/networking event at the click of a button! You don't have to worry about setting aside 4-5 hours of your day for the fair, you can save time and build meaningful connections by setting aside an hour or two of your day.
CCI: What are your tips for fellow recruiters who may be new to the online career fair environment?
HA: My advice for recruiters attending virtual events is be authentic and personable! It is important to let your personality shine through in the virtual world. Share your story and experience with students when appropriate.
It is helpful to share your LinkedIn profile with students so they can easily connect with you after the event and follow up with you in case there are any tech issues. During your interaction, provide students with additional resources they can use to learn more about your company after the event.
Test and become familiar with the recruiting platform being used for the event. Watch online tutorials if they are provided and have a contact on hand in case any tech issues arise.
CCI: Do you have advice for making meaningful connections in a digital format?
HA: My word for this semester is "Intentional networking.” When you meet with employers, make sure you are making the most of your time and the employer's time. Ask questions you are genuinely curious about, those questions might be about culture, diversity and inclusion, or the virtual environment. Do not be afraid to ask the questions that truly matter to you. After the event, follow up with the employer on LinkedIn. When reaching out to an employer, go the extra mile and share how you met them and add something unique about your conversation.
CCI: What can students do to make themselves stand out to recruiters in an online environment?
HA: Find out which employers are attending the event and decide who you want to meet with in advance. Research the employers you want to network with by reviewing their company website and social media channels.
Be engaged and energetic! Employers can tell when someone is truly passionate about an opportunity/company, so make that known! Hide all distractions, put your phone away, have a clean and organized background and be attentive during your conversation.
Instead of an elevator pitch- work on your virtual pitch. The easiest way to really master your pitch is to write it out and practice it. Have your virtual pitch written out on your computer and make sure spelling and grammar is correct. That way you can easily copy & paste your pitch into virtual chats or you can even have it up when meeting with employers.
Learn more about our partnership with Vanguard and take advantage of the opportunity to connect with their representatives during the Virtual Career Networking Event on Thursday, November 12 from 4-6 p.m.
Visit our Career Networking Event registration guide to find instructions for setting up your profile, tips for recording your 60-second elevator pitch video, and Zoom backgrounds you can download to use during your video chats with recruiters.