More information coming soon!

Handshake's Guide to Attending a Virtual Fair

During the fair, you will be able to engage with employers in two different ways:

  1. Group Sessions: 30 minutes each, multiple students can attend
  2. 1:1 Sessions: 10 minutes each, one student and one employer representative can attend (must pre-register to attend)

You'll be able to sign up for sessions prior to and on the day of the fair.

Students will be able to sign up for sessions with availability up till one minute before the start of the session. Once the session has started, students will not be able to sign up.

1. Registering and signing up for sessions
  • In order to sign up for sessions with employers, you must be registered for the fair.  Once you're registered for the fair, you'll be able to view and sign up for available employer sessions.
  • Review which employers are attending the fair ("follow" employers you want to check back in with)!
  • When you locate an employer that you'd like to sign up for a session with, look for the session information to appear below the employer name and description.  Option 1: Group sessions will have a custom title and indicate a length of 30 minutes.  Option 2: One on One with EMPLOYER NAME
  • To sign up for Group or 1:1 sessions, you may be prompted to update your profile privacy setting. We recommend using the "Community" setting to make the most of your Handshake experience.
  • Students are able to sign up for as many sessions as desired, with the following guidance:   Session times may not overlap. If you would like to sign up for a session and see a red dot to the right of the time, this indicates the time overlaps an existing signup.    Students may sign up for multiple 1:1 sessions from the same employer, but not more than one session with the same recruiter. If you'd prefer a different session time, you'll first need to cancel your existing 1:1 session, then select a new time.
2. Preparing for the fair

Here are some best practices to help you prepare for a successful fair:


Will students be able to submit their resumes to employers? Without joining sessions?

Yes! When students sign up to meet with employers in 1:1 and/or group sessions, they are added to a RSVPs list, and employers will have access to these students’ public resumes before and after the fair.

Will students who live internationally be able to participate?

There are no restrictions by location, so as long as the student has logged into Handshake they will be able to participate.

Can a student see previously attended sessions?

Yes! Students will be able to see their previous sessions within the sessions tab.

Will students, employers and career staff have access to transcripts of the chats they had during the virtual fair?

Transcripts will not be provided for conversations held during the fair. Instead, there will be moderation options for students and employers to utilize during conversations.

3. Participating in the fair

All sessions will have the option for Handshake video, audio and text based chat. There is no customization for types of interaction; it is up to the employer and student joining the session to determine how they would like to connect.

As long as you're signed up for the session successfully, you'll be able to join up to 5 minutes prior to the session start and throughout the duration of the session.

  • To sign up for Group or 1:1 sessions, you may be prompted to update your profile privacy setting.  We recommend using the "Community" setting  to make the most of your Handshake experience, as this will allow you to participate in all fair sessions and engage with other students/alumni!
  • Review which employers are attending the fair (follow employers you want to check back in with)!
  • You'll be able to sign up for sessions up to one(1) minute before the start time; once the session has started, you'll be unable to sign up for the session.
4. Following up after the fair

Once the fair has wrapped up, you can followup with employers in Handshake via:

  • following their company profile (receive notifications of employer activity at your school)
  • messaging other students that have worked for the employer or a publicly listed point of contact for the company
  • responding to an employer message
  • applying for an active job
  • participating in an interview schedule
  • attending an event

To quickly see who you attended sessions with, navigate back to the fair in Handshake with the direct link to the fair or browse using the filter "past fairs". Click on the Available Sessions tab to see your list of sessions populate on the right side of the page. Click on any session from that list to see group session descriptions or 1:1 host name/title.

Virtual Career Fair Preparation Tips and Resources

  1. 1

    Before you attend make sure to review The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Career Fairs!

  2. 2

    Do your company research prior to the fair and complete a Career Fair Preparation Worksheet

  3. 3

    Utilize the SORR Resume Method to create your most powerful resume yet!

  4. 4

  5. 5

    Read on for what to do AFTER the fair!

Follow up after the Fair—Here’s Your “Must Do” list

1. Send a thank you note to the recruiter’s email address.

Follow-up promptly after the career fair, to thank the employers for their time and to remind them of your application.

Craft a professional and intentional message. College recruiters can be at multiple career fairs at multiple campuses each month – help them place where they met you. Remind them of the fair at which you interacted with them, mention specific topics from your conversation, and reiterate your interest in specific positions and opportunities. And thank them for their time and consideration of your application. Don’t forget to attach your résumé (you know, for their convenience!).

It’s been a week and I didn’t receive a response, now what?

Don’t worry, these folks are busy! Checking in 10-14 days with a follow-up message is an appropriate interval. The goal is to be enthusiastic – but not irritating.

2. Connect with all Recruiters that you met on LinkedIn

Before doing so,  make sure your LinkedIn profile a) exists and b) is up to date. Then use your LinkedIn account to follow companies of interest, connect with recruiters you spoke with, and get a sense of companies’ culture and opportunities.

3. Be Proactive

What else can I do?

While career fairs are a great place to make a connection, they’re often just one piece of a successful job or internship search strategy. Looking for next steps after the fair?  Use the myriad of other resources available to you to assist in making great connections with employers such as Handshake @ Illinois,  upcoming company events and BCS workshops.   Most importantly, work your network.   Reach out to alumni in your targeted companies, conduct informational interviews and connect!

Here's Your Cheat Sheet:
  • Send a Thank you Note
  • Connect on LinkedIn
  • Be proactive
Sample Thank You Note

Hello,  Thank you so much for speaking with me at the Gies Virtual Career Fair on Sept. 17th.  I enjoyed learning more about POSITION at your COMPANY.   As we discussed, I have (list relevant experience or qualities here).  I have submitted my application and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sample Follow Up Email

Hi Recruiter Name, I hope you are doing well. I wanted to follow up and ensure that you received my email message sent on DATE. After speaking with you at the Gies Virtual Fair, I am very interested in POSITION. I look forward to speaking with you about the opportunities at COMPANY. Thanks!

Sample LinkedIn Request

Hello! It was great meeting you at the Gies Virtual Career Fair today.  Thanks for answering my questions about POSITION NAME.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.


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