Guide to Virtual Career Fairs for Employers

Career fairs are a cost-effective way to connect with the U of A students, postdoctoral fellows, and alumni, while also raising your campus brand awareness. We will take care of all the organizational details including advertising to the target groups of students, alumni, and community members. For the 2020-2021 academic year, the Career Centre will conduct all career fairs virtually.

Virtual career fairs 

Through virtual career fairs, your organization can easily connect with U of A students, postdoctoral fellows, and alumni. Virtual career fairs are an effective way to engage with students, advertise available positions, and build a campus brand. 

While the purpose of a career fair remains the same, the platform is different. There are a number of strategies you can use to ensure you make the most out of your virtual career fair experience.


Preparing for a Virtual Career Fair

Prepare Technologically

Confirm that the device you plan to use is able to support the software platform used (Symplicity).  It is advisable to use a desktop, laptop or tablet to avoid the shakiness that can come with using a phone. Multiple people and devices will be able to participate in the career fair.

Craft your Company Booth

The University of Alberta is using the software platform CSM by Symplicity. Within Symplicity, employers will be able to create a company booth that will host documents, links, and any videos uploaded. Your company booth will need to be completed prior to the fair date, this will give you a good opportunity to explore the platform, and identify any technical issues that need to be resolved. 

Here are some videos from Symplicity on setting up your booth:

Employer Training from Symplicity: 

To update your booth: 

If you have registered for an upcoming career fair, the Employer Profile becomes your company booth and is visible to students who attend the fair. 

  1. Log into your Symplicity account
  2. Click on the tab "Employer Profile" along the left navigation. 
  3. Update available fields to the best of your ability including: Who We Are, Logo, Company Culture, Photos, and Videos. 

To add more representatives to your booth: 

  1. Once logged on, click on "Events" along the left navigation. 
  2. Choose "Career Fairs" and click on "Registered".
  3. Choose the tab "Registration" and click "Modify" at the bottom of the page. 
  4. Add the representative names and emails then click "Save". (All representatives will be sent an email notifying them of their new account information.)
Research Students

Before the fair, you will be able to see which students from specific disciplines are registered. On the day of the fair you will be able to see which students are online. You will be able to send chat requests to specific students either before or during the fair. 

Think of Common Questions and Answers

It can be helpful to think of common questions that students may have about your organization and come up with an FAQ list for yourself. This will help you feel prepared on the day of the fair, and allow for faster response times. 

Some common questions students have for employers during COVID-19 may include:

  • Is your office working remotely for the foreseeable future?
  • What does the back-to-work plan for your company look like?
  • As a new hire, what kind of virtual or in-person onboarding and mentorship should I expect?
  • Are all interviews conducted virtually?
  • If your office is working virtually, can I work from anywhere or do I need to be in the city the company is based out of?
Treat Chats like an Interview

As virtual career fairs are less casual than an in-person fair, we have instructed students to treat each interaction as a small scale interview. Similarly, we recommend that employers prepare a short list of questions to ask students during text chats and video chats.

Ways to Connect with Students

Students will be able to sign up for either a group chat or a one-on-one session with an employer.

Group Chats

Students can join a text-based group chat with your booth representative. Group chats can be a great way to share general company information to a large group of students. Many students will feel more comfortable coming into a group chat with your company initially.

To create a group chat: 

  1. Once logged on, click on "Events" along the left navigation. 
  2. Choose "Career Fairs" and click on "Registered". 
  3. Choose the tab "Registration" and click "Modify" at the bottom of the page. 
  4. Click “Next” until you reach the page for “Group Chats”. 
  5. Input instructions for students to join the group chat, including your own video conferencing software link (Zoom/ Google Meets/ GoToMeeting, etc.) 
  6. Input the schedule so students know when to join the group chat. 
  7. Click “Review and Confirm”. 
One-on-One Chats

One-on-one chats can be conducted through text or video. The text feature is available on Symplicity, however, the videos would be external to Symplicity. For video chats, you will need to leave a link to the student with instructions on how to login to the video. This is to ensure each company can follow their own internal security procedures when it comes to video chats. Each company will need to have access to their own video platform (e.g., Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meets, GoToMeetings) for video chats. 

Students have been advised to have formal conversations through both text and video. Students will sign up for a specific time-slot for one-on-one chats. 

In one-on-one chats, you can rate students and take notes on the platform for your own reference. This can be a helpful way to remember which students you need to follow up with. 

You may also invite specific students to chat with you. The student will get a notification of the time you would like to have them in a one-on-one chat and then may accept or reject it.

To create a One-on-one chats: 

  1. Once logged on, click on "Events" along the left navigation. 
  2. Choose "Career Fairs" and click on "Registered". 
  3. Choose the tab "Registration" and click "Modify" at the bottom of the page.
  4. Click “Next” until you reach the page for “Representatives”. 
  5. Beside the listed representatives, click “Expand” to add instructions. 
  6. Input instructions for students to join the group chat, including your own video conferencing software link (Zoom/ Google Meets/ GoToMeeting, etc.) 
  7. Repeat with all representatives. 
  8. Input the chat time limit.  
  9. Click “Review and Confirm”. 
Pre-recorded Videos

You can upload any pre-recorded videos to your company booth. These videos can include testimonials from past student employees, a tour of the office, or a quick introduction to your company!

To add videos: 

  1. Log into your Symplicity account.
  2. Click on the tab "Employer Profile" along the left navigation. 
  3. Choose the tab “Video” to add the video URL. 
Job Postings

If you are interested in hiring for specific roles within your company, you can upload the job posting directly to your company booth. 

To upload job postings: 

  1. Once logged on, click on "Events" along the left navigation. 
  2. Choose "Career Fairs" and click on "Registered".
  3. Choose the tab "Registration" and click "Modify" at the bottom of the page. 
  4. Click “Next” until you reach the tab for Personal Information, at the bottom there is a space to include any job posting links from campusBRIDGE or your own site. 
  5. Click “Review and Confirm”. 
Uploaded Documents

Similar to an in-person fair, you can provide digitized promotional materials to students as uploaded documents in your booth. These can include any brochures, flyers, or FAQ pages on the hiring process or company culture.

To upload documents: 

  1. Log into your Symplicity account.
  2. Click on the tab "Employer Profile" along the left navigation. 
  3. upload documents under “Attachments” under the tab “Who we are”.

After the Fair

Follow up with Students

Even after the fair has ended, you will have access to your chat records, any notes taken during chats, student profiles, and uploaded resumes so you can easily follow up with interested students.