Home Career Services Prepare for a STEM Career through Our STEM VCF, Company Recruiters and Career Services
Prepare for a STEM Career through Our STEM VCF, Company Recruiters and Career Services

Prepare for a STEM Career through Our STEM VCF, Company Recruiters and Career Services

Get more information about STEM degrees at American Public University.

By Rowe Leathers
Contributor and Career Coach, APUS

Preparing for a virtual career fair (VCF) can be daunting for potential job seekers. Preparation is crucial, but knowing the outcome from the VCF is just as important.

As you prepare for the upcoming STEM VCF on October 25, it is essential for you to understand that VCFs are not hiring events, which might alleviate your anxieties about talking directly with recruiters. Instead, VCFs are opportunities to personally connect with recruiters.

What Should You Ask Recruiters at the STEM VCF?

Virtual career fair attendees generally want to know what jobs recruiters have open, what qualifications they seek, and whether they qualify for an available position. Of course, if you spit out questions without thought or consideration, you send the wrong message to the recruiter and could be perceived as a non-viable candidate.

You may only get a few minutes to chat up a recruiter, so it is important to pack relevant information in a brief sentence.

In your opening message, help the recruiter understand the area in which you specialize or the area in which you are looking to transition.

  • Help Desk Support
  • Programming
  • Security Compliance
  • Analytics
  • Web Development
  • Application Development

Example: I currently have two years in programming and have recently transitioned into mobile applications. My background may be a fit to the position you have listed for a mobile apps developer. Would you have a few minutes to chat?

Don’t Forget to Do Your Research on the Company

As a rule, thoroughly researching the company you are targeting is the first step. Once you make the connection with your opening statement, consider the three most common questions you should ask next:

1. What jobs are you hiring for?

Ask a question that implies you have done your research and expect growth for the company.

Sample question: I visited your corporate website to review vacancies and did not see one listed for information systems governance. Can you tell me when you expect expansion or growth in that division?

2. What qualifications do you seek?

Share your background and show that your interest lies with the organization. Create an opportunity for the recruiter to ask you questions.

Sample question: I am very much interested in specializing in cybersecurity, but my background has been in information systems security in general. Can you give me insight on how your organization would allow a candidate to make the transition?

3. Can you look at my resume and tell me if I qualify?

It is unrealistic to expect a recruiter to assess your worth on the spot. Instead, create the opportunity to arrange a phone call with the recruiter at a later time, when you can expand on your abilities based on the brief interaction during the VCF.

Sample question: I am very much interested in discussing opportunities in your information systems department and how my background may be a good addition. Would you be open to scheduling a phone call to assess the possibilities?

Focus on Making Personal Connections with VCF Recruiters in Case Other Jobs Become Available Later

Virtual career fairs are opportunities to make connections. Recruiters may not immediately have available vacancies to fill.

But many recruiters utilize career fairs as a way to fill their candidate pipelines for later contact when suitable opportunities do arise. Taking the proper approach to a recruiter will help ensure your name lands on the top.

Be sure to apply these strategies when you attend the upcoming STEM VCF on October 25. A careful review of participating employers ahead of time will help you draft relevant questions that will make you more memorable when you connect with recruiters during the event.

RSVP for the Virtual Career Fair and mark the date on your calendar. For additional information and tips for success, attend the VCF Employer Insights on October 10 at 2 p.m. ET where a career coach and corporate recruiter will offer advice on best practices to optimize your STEM VCF success.

As always, if you prefer to work with a career coach on an individual basis, please reach out to Career Services at careerservices@apus.edu. An industry coach will contact you.

Get more information about STEM degrees at American Public University.