Handshake’s Guide to Attending a Virtual Fair

By Tawnya, Handshake
Article provided by Handshake; view original article here.

Handshake is the #1 place where students find jobs and get hired. We’ve developed a way for you to attend career fairs virtually so you can meet interesting companies looking to hire students like you. 


The Virtual Fair on Handshake

Schools partnered with us can choose to host virtual fairs through Handshake, and employers that recruit from your school can register similarly to in-person fairs.

Once the employer’s registration is approved by the school, employers generate session schedules for representatives that will be present. 

Employers are able to host two types of sessions to interact with students: 

  • Group Sessions:
    • 30 minutes each
    • Multiple students can attend
  • 1:1 Sessions:
    • 10 minutes each
    • One student and one employer representative can attend

In these sessions, employers will be identified as the Host, and they’ll be able to share their screen with participants. 

Identifying a virtual fair

Navigate to the Events page (via the top menu bar), then use the Virtual filter to identify virtual fairs. A fair may be created by your school, or your school may be invited to participate in a virtual fair from another school.

  • You can click on All Filters, then uncheck Only posted by my school to discover any fairs hosted by other schools. 

If you identify a fair or event you’d like to save to review later, click the bookmark icon to the far right of the name to save it. Use the Saved filter on this page to locate your saved events and fairs. 


Click the fair name to load the fair’s overview page and review available sessions.

Signing up for sessions

  • From the overview page, click on the Available Sessions tab to review and sign up for sessions.
  • To sign up for Group or 1:1 sessions, you may be prompted to update your profile privacy settings. We recommend using Community 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 at any point, even during the fair (as long as the session hasn’t ended).

Preparing for the fair

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

Check out our blog post for more tips on how to stand out in a virtual fair! 

Participating in the fair

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

For details on day-of participation, refer to Participating in a Virtual Fair.


As long as you signed up for the session successfully, you’ll be able to join up to 5 minutes before the session starts and throughout the duration of the session. 

We want you to feel as safe as possible while attending virtual fairs and interacting with employers, so we’ve taken several steps to ensure your safety. Read more about these steps in Reporting an Issue at a Virtual Fair.

Following up after the fair

Once the fair has wrapped up, you can followup with employers in Handshake immediately after your session via the pop-up that appears automatically.

  • If the session has multiple hosts, click the Send a message button to the right of the hosts name you’d like to continue a conversation with. Send_Message_After_Group_Session_Image.png
  • If the session has one host, the text box will load immediately.

Type your message within the text box, then click the Send button in the lower-left corner to continue the conversation.

Not sure what to say? We suggest to:

  • Follow up on something you found interesting or helpful from the event. 
  • Show your enthusiasm for a role, this company, or the industry. 
  • Ask questions about the company. 

You can follow up with recruiters later by:

To review 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 Your schedule tab for a list of past sessions you signed up for. The session host’s name, job title, and company will display.

Click the Send a message button, to the right of the host’s information, to send a follow-up message. 



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’re added to a RSVPs list, and employers will have access to these students’ public resumes (featured on profile) 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’ll be able to participate.

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

  • Transcripts won’t be provided for conversations held during the fair. Instead, there will be moderation options for students and employers to use during conversations.
By Handshake