Janine Davis

Middays Weekdays 10:00AM-3:00PM

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 15: A Target employee greets a job seeker at the start of an interview during a job fair at a new Target retail store on August 15, 2013 in San Francisco, California. Hundreds of job seekers applied for jobs during a job fair to staff a new Target City store. According to a report by the Labor Department, the number of people seeking first time unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level since 2007 with initial jobless claims decreasing by 15,000 to 320,000. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Since the pandemic, many companies have made the adjustment to offer virtual job fairs. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is one of them. CMS is hosting a virtual career fair Wednesday, August 3, 8am – 6pm at Philip O. Berry Academy of Technology, 1430 Alleghany Street, Charlotte.

They are looking to hire a number of staff in various areas. From transportation to school crossing guards, the need is great. The key to nailing the job, is being prepared and knowing what to expect.

Here are a few tips provided by Handshake.com and HR consultant Debbie Page to get you ready and perhaps hired.


  • Update your online professional profile

    Whether it’s LinkedIn or your own personal web page, a potential employer should have your most up-to-date information. That includes a complete and current resume, references and even recommendations.

  • Find out which positions are available

    CMS is offering several positions in various departments. From transportation, school nutrition, warehouse services, maintenance and custodial services to after school care and school crossing guards. Be clear on which job fits you best.

  • Research which departments you'll meet

    Because there will be various departments represented, it may give you an edge to know who you could potentially meet. Do research to learn names of department heads. Even if they are not immediately available, knowing who is in charge could make a difference.

  • Prepare a few talking points

    Employers have a job to offer, but they want to hear from you, too. Prepare your 30-second elevator speech about yourself. Give a brief overview of your background, skills and goals.

  • On the day of fair, dress professionally


    Even though you won’t meet employers in person, remember to dress accordingly. No sweats, but a polished look is favorable. Afterall, you want to make a good first impression.


  • Find a quiet spot and neutral background

    Make sure the room you’re in is clean, quiet and well lit. Your expertise should be the focal point of the conversation, not a visible pile of laundry on dirty dishes in the background.

  • Test internet connection

    Make sure your device is capable of supporting you in the virtual career fair. Do a dry run before the virtual fair to ensure everything run smooths on the day of the event.

  • Arrive on time

    Punctuality for virtual meetings and your ability to communicate virtually are all factors that have an impact on the outcome. Have an awareness of your facial expressions and the position of your webcam.

  • Maintain eye contact and practice active listening

    Talking directly to the employer without distractions will be important. The employer will want to see you engaging, so limit any distractions around you. And remember to smile — it offers positive energy.

  • Ask questions

    Much of your communication will be done through written interactions in the chat function of the platform. To make a great first impression, you’ll want to demonstrate and articulate written communication

  • Day after the virtual fair, keep lines of communication open

    It will be important to check your email and other forms of communication. You don’t want to  miss an opportunity for interviews.