The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s fall career fairs, normally held in the Nebraska Union and Pinnacle Bank Arena, are shifting to a virtual format due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Scheduled for noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 22-25, the online fairs will offer opportunities for students to interact with employers both individually and in a group setting.
“With so many internships and job opportunities having disappeared this past spring and summer due to COVID-19, events like career fairs are more important than ever,” said Tracy Lungrin, director of Career Services. “We are eager to spread the message to our students that there is opportunity in this labor market, and we hope they will show up virtually to meet with the hundreds of employers who want to connect to them.”
Lungrin said while the in-person fairs will be missed, visiting with employers in the new virtual format has a few distinct benefits for students.
“Before this semester, students could show up to the fairs and talk to any employer they saw there. That kind of impromptu networking is great, but there were sometimes lines to talk to recruiters, which made it harder to make those one-on-one connections,” Lungrin said. “This fall, students can sign up for 10-minute conversation slots with recruiters ahead of time, so they know exactly who they’ll be speaking with and can make an even more memorable impression.”
Along with the individual chats, students can register for 30-minute group sessions with other students.
In contrast to the in-person fairs, students are required to register for the virtual fairs in advance.
“This year’s fairs will require more preparation in the sense that students should register and sign up to meet with employers as early as they can,” Lungrin said. “Employers have limited capacity to meet with students in this format, so if they wait until the day of, the employers they want to meet with might be full. While students can decide to attend the day of, it may be challenging to find times to meet with the employers they are interested in.”
Here are a few things the office recommends doing before the fairs begin:
- Update your resume and Handshake profile
- Get your “elevator pitch” ready
- Set up and test out a professional Zoom background
- Prepare a list of questions for each employer