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UMGC Career Connection Five Strategies for Success at a Virtual InternPLUS Fair

Rhoda Smackum
By Rhoda Smackum

Work-based experiences for both students and alumni can provide pathways into in-demand roles and unique skill-building opportunities. UMGC’s Virtual InternPLUS fair is designed to connect job seekers to entry-level, career-launching opportunities. This event will host multiple employers, allowing attendees to explore open opportunities and engage with recruiters all on one platform.

The advantage of the Virtual InternPLUS Fair is the accessibility. You can live anywhere in the world and engage with employers. Continue below for 5 steps to ensure success at the Virtual InternPLUS Fair

Join the Prep Session Webinar

Before the Fair, be sure to register and attend the UMGC Virtual InternPLUS Fair Prep Session to learn more about the event, the open positions, how to navigate the platform and practice your elevator pitch. The prep session is interactive and will feature a guest speaker—typically an employer scheduled to attend the fair. 

During the session, UMGC career advising specialists will share ways to make the most out of the career fair. Register for the prep sessions by clicking the link HERE.

Update Your Resume 

When registering for the UMGC Virtual InternPLUS Fair, you’ll have the option of submitting your resume. CareerQuest has two great tools to help you create or update your resume. 

·         VMock provides instant feedback on your resume. 

·         UpKey allows you to build a customized resume. Once uploaded, recruiters will have access to your resume before, during, and after the Fair.

Register for the UMGC Virtual InternPLUS Fair

Now that your resume is ready, it’s time to register for the UMGC Virtual InternPLUS Fair. When you register, you’ll create a profile and have a chance to upload your resume. After completing these steps you’ll be able to view the list of employers attending the event and the openings they are hiring for. 

Research Potential Employers                                          

Once you’ve reviewed the list of companies participating in the fair, take the time to research the ones you’re interested in and any job openings that fit your background and skills. This step is often overlooked and can cost you an opportunity to move forward in the process.

If you find an opportunity you are interested in, apply for it! Researching ahead of time will ensure you are prepared to speak one-on-one with recruiters. Applying for a position before the fair will also demonstrate to recruiters how interested you are in their organization and its career opportunities.

Practice Your Pitch

A great aspect of a virtual career fair is attendees having the chance to chat one-on-one with recruiters. This means clear, effective written communication should be a top priority. Take some time to write, edit, and refine your written introduction.

This introduction should include the following:

·         Highlight your key strengths and qualifications, 

·         Express interest in the organization or industry.

·         Explain how your skills and interests align with the needs of the employer.

·         Feature your personal ‘why.’ 

·         Your pitch should be concise, avoid slang, emojis and write in full sentences.

Prepare a few questions in advance for each recruiter to maximize the time you have with them and take detailed notes during the event.  

As always, keep in mind that UMGC Career Services is available to help you plan and achieve career success. Set up an appointment with a UMGC Career Advising Specialist for additional support in your career journey.

Rhoda Smackum is a manager in Career Services at University of Maryland Global Campus. She has extensive experience helping individuals assess and leverage skills and talents to achieve success. Ms. Smackum enjoys working collaboratively, in partnership with students and alumni to identify career issues, match values with career choices and obtain meaningful work. She holds a Master of Arts degree from Bowie State University and a Bachelor of General Studies degree from the University of Maryland College Park. She is a Certified Master of Career Services (CMCS) and an Associate Certified Career Coach.