Kettering University Co-op leaders are gearing up for the biggest virtual job fair of the year with more than 40 companies and organizations lined up to meet with students.

The March 15 event, which is for Kettering students and graduates only, will be the University’s third virtual job fair since the COVID-19 pandemic began a year ago. Last year’s spring job fair was one of the last big in-person events on campus, but virtual attendance has grown at every fair since then.

Another encouraging sign is that more than 70 job vacancies are listed on Kettering Connect.

“Our available posted positions are the highest in many years,” said Tracie Jones, Director of Registration and Cooperative Education. “New opportunities are added daily.”

Virtual fairs also have their benefits, such as eliminating travel time for employers and students and allowing businesses and incoming students to participate from a greater distance. Students also gain valuable real-world skills to navigate virtual employment engagements.

Virtual fairs are similar to in-person events in that job seekers wait in a line to meet employers with their resumes and elevator pitches ready. In a virtual event, contact between students and employers begins with a text conversation that can lead to an invitation to a short one-on-one meeting, which could become a real interview and possible co-op job offer.

As with an in-person event, students should dress professionally. Preparation is also important, and this is where co-op managers come in.

Co-op managers are on hand to help students navigate the process. The role of the co-op manager is to assist and mentor students through the hiring process and to serve as the University’s liaison with potential hiring organizations. Even after getting a job, co-op managers continue to offer guidance to students to ensure their success.

The Co-op team is hosting a “How to Successfully Navigate a Virtual Career Fair,” to be held from 12:15-1:15 p.m., March 9 for current students and 3:30-4:30 p.m., March 11 for incoming students. . This is a great opportunity to learn some insider tips for job fair success.

Here are some other tips to help students prepare:

  • Make sure your chosen space is quiet and you feel confident
  • Perform a camera and mic check before logging into the event
  • Create a game plan for the companies you want to talk to
  • Write your “elevating pitch” or a brief summary of your skills, background and why you would be a good fit for the job
  • Check the grammar and spelling of your pitch and prepare it so you can copy and paste it into chats

As many have learned during this time of remote work and learning, complications and issues can arise, but it’s important to be considerate, adapt and adjust, Jones said.

“Show grace. We’ve all had those times when the mic doesn’t work or the WIFI cuts out; be flexible,” Jones said. “Of course, a virtual meeting is different from an in-person meeting, but in today’s environment, it is just as important to learn and master interaction and engagement skills in a virtual.”

Jones said the University’s cooperative team has used employer and student feedback from previous virtual fairs to improve each time. Students can upload their resume and have early access to the fair to research participating companies and view open positions. Students can apply for open jobs ahead of the show on March 13-14 if they log on to kiosks and employers have provided links.

“The best advice I can give to every student is to be patient and stay connected. Your involvement in your co-op experience definitely impacts your success,” Jones said. active and responsible role for your future. The Virtual Career Fair is just one step among many that you can use. Stay involved, take the lead and take control of your experience. It’s your journey to enjoy.

To register for the Spring Career Fair, visit connect.kettering.edu/student.