How to best prepare for and participate in virtual information and networking sessions.
In the remote world, virtual information sessions have become commonplace. While it may be easier to attend networking and information sessions remotely, it can be more difficult to build connections with employers and stand out. Here are some steps you can take to maximize each information or networking session you attend.
Connect online with the places where you are interested in working
- You cannot attend an information session if you do not know about it, so make sure you sign up for notifications, alerts, and emails.
- Research the company or agency and drop your resume if there is an option to do so.
Make a connection with an individual before the information session
- Connect with the recruiter beforehand, so you stand out among dozens or hundreds of other candidates attending the same information sessions.
- If the recruiter is not available or responsive, try reaching out to someone else at the company in your specific practice area of interest.
- In your initial contact email, express your strong interest in the company or agency, briefly describe your background, and ask that individual for an informational interview.
At the information or networking session
- Join a few minutes early, so you can (re)-introduce yourself to the recruiter or mention to the recruiter that you spoke with someone at the company or agency and are excited for the information session.
- Take notes during the information session, so you can refer to specific points when you reach out to the recruiter or speakers after the session. Be sure to note the names of the recruiter and speakers. If you cannot find their email addresses online, use the Q&A or chat function to ask if you can follow up with them via email after the information session.
- Be an active participant and engage with the speakers, especially in breakout rooms. This is your opportunity to learn more about the company or agency, and their opportunity to learn more about you. Brainstorm questions beforehand so you’re prepared to participate.
After the virtual session
- Write thank-you notes and schedule follow-up conversations with the speakers or anyone with whom you connected during the information session.
- Write a thank-you note to the recruiter. If there are multiple recruiters, write a thank-you note to the recruiter for your specific practice of interest or preferred geographic region.
- After developing these connections, when you decide to submit an application, flag it for the recruiter or speaker (whomever is your strongest contact).
With the accessibility of information sessions in a remote world, taking advantage of the opportunities by doing research, preparing, and making meaningful connections is the best way to set yourself up for success!
About the Author: Jennifer Chung is a J.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and is a Professional Development Liaison in the GradPro office of the Graduate Division.