There may be no wine, but could virtual fairs be a better use of your time?

There’s a virtual careers fair taking place every week throughout October – one for every sector in fact! But what is a virtual fair like to attend and what are the benefits of the virtual format over a physical event?

Zubair Ahmed Zoha Khan tells us about his experience…  Zubair is in his 2nd year of an Accounting and Finance degree.

Before joining the fair, I was a bit worried about how I would be able to interact with employers effectively without meeting them face-to-face. But rest assured, it was amazing!  Below are some of the positive features that stood out for me:

Five great features/benefits of a Virtual Careers Fair

  • The most obvious one: Talk to employers, ranging in size from multinationals to SMEs from the comfort of your own home!
  • Saves your time and energy! No waiting in long queues to talk to your dream company.
  • The easy-to-understand layout of Remo (our new online fair platform): On the left panel, I could see the list of employers, also which floors and tables they were in. It was almost like an in-person fair!
  • You will have the solutions to all your problems before even asking. Just go to the “Help” option, and search for the issue you are facing and you would be guided accordingly!
  • You get privacy. In an in-person fair, you might have a large crowd waiting behind you whilst you are talking to your favourite employer. There’s less pressure and you can discuss things such as your credentials without worrying about being overheard.

Three tips for getting the most out of any virtual careers fair

  • Wear what you would wear to an in-person Careers Fair. To be professional, look professional at first. You would probably spend 10 minutes with an employer, so make the best impression. As they say, first impression is always the last impression!
  • Research and come up with questions that show a deeper level of interest. Rather than just asking about general company information and what roles they have to offer for example, try to go a step further. Look at the company values and the sector they are a part of, find out which part of the company makes you want to work with them and talk more about those. Most people will come with the most typical questions, but to stand out- be inquisitive!
  • Follow up after the event. This again shows you are professional. Ask for the email address of the employer once you are done talking to them and get in touch after the event. Thank them for their time and follow up on any further questions you may have.

My personal experience

I attended the Banking, Consultancy, and Finance Fair and had the opportunity to speak to some of the finest employers including Visa, HMRC, Gartner and Mazars.

All the companies’ representatives were very friendly and willing to answer all my questions. For example, the representative of Mazars told me how the company is relatively smaller than a Big Four which means more responsibilities, even as an intern. He shed more light on how I can stand out during the recruitment process and much more, all of which I took into account while applying for the Audit industrial Placement at the company following the conversation. Visa on the other hand talked more about internships that were soon to go live. I told them about how I did the Spring Insight Week at American Express, one of its major competitors to which the representative told what differentiates Visa from Amex. It was a great conversation, very informative! At the end of all the meetings, I asked for their emails so I could thank them for their time.

We all know how the University of Bristol graduates are amongst the most employable graduates globally. With this in mind, I would strongly suggest you make the most of your opportunities and engage with the Careers Fair and the employer events as much as you can, even if it is virtual, because in the end this also means that you could potentially meet employers from anywhere in the world!

Explore the Sector Spotlight Series and book a place here