Steps to Organize a Virtual Career Fair Using an LMS
Successfully organizing virtual career fairs is certainly an art and a science. Just as you must carefully pick a venue, set the budget, establish event details, set a date and time, and market the event, you must do these activities for virtual events as well. In any case, organizing virtual career fairs is possible, and in fact can be very effective and enjoyable for both the job seekers and employers who attend them. Check out the steps below (including best practices) that you must conduct in order to successfully host a virtual career fair.
1) Lead the effort
Career fairs are often organized by different groups such as colleges, industry consortiums, local workforce centers, and employers themselves. Identify what opportunities the event offers, and establish who is involved. You may need to communicate the benefits and value of virtual career fairs, so ensure this messaging is clear up front.
2) Pick a platform
If you don’t already have an LMS, you’ll need to evaluate your options- which can be plentiful! If you’re looking for more information on different LMSs available, there are lots of great articles online about the pros and cons of each. We’re working on an article as well, so check back here later for more information. For now, we recommend Canvas as a great LMS option.
3) Set a budget- Just as in-person career fairs cost money to operate, so do virtual career fairs.
Many LMSs come with an annual fee as well as a cost per user or account created. According to Jeffrey Harris, E-Learning Development Specialist at EDSI, “When setting a budget, it is always a good idea to establish the total number of user accounts you are willing to spend money on for the event. It is possible to set a cap for events via an API integration, making it impossible to exceed the total number of users that you want to allow into the event.” Identify event goals- How many employers are involved? How many different positions need to be filled, and how many positions are open? What kind of information do employers want to display at their booths? How many job seekers will ideally attend? What industry are you targeting? It’s critical to have clarity on these items.
4) Establish whether or not to include a ‘live’ components
Do employers want to offer live virtual Q&A sessions at a specific day/time? This would involve much more coordination as you need to confirm times with each employer and ensure this information is communicated well to job seekers in the marketing process.
5) Build the fair
This is a more technical component which involves utilizing the capabilities and features of the LMS platform to build out the virtual job fair. The most critical components are the account setup for participants, event welcome page, and contents of each virtual booth. The contents of the virtual booth can include:
- Employer ‘About Us’ page with text, videos and pictures
- Pages for each open position
- Resume uploading capabilities
- Question submission page for job seekers (questions can be submitted by video or text)
- Links to live Q&A sessions
- Option for job seekers to schedule interviews
- Option for employers to review resumes before scheduling any interviews
Check out the image below for an example of what an employer ‘booth’ might look like. Each section is a link which takes job seekers to a page with more information.