Best Practices for Virtual Employer Information Sessions (VEIS)

A person looking at a laptop screen during an virtual employer information session

How to structure your VEIS:

  • Provide a brief presentation about your organization
  • Include information on current positions, full-time opportunities, your organization’s work culture, what students can expect during an interview with your organization and what makes your organization stand out above the rest
  • Leave plenty of time for students to ask questions (and network)

Ten tips for running a successful VEIS:

1) Consider using presenters who are passionate and charismatic

Using presenters who have different backgrounds from your organization can offer different perspectives. Consider presenters who are:

  • Business unit and Human Resources staff. They can answer various types of questions.
  • Staff in senior management positions. This shows the audience that you value meeting with students and has the added benefit of allowing your audience to hear about the career path to a senior management position.
  • Managers who work directly with students. Students will have exposure to individuals they may be working with, and can ask specific questions.
  • Recent grads and current or past co-op students. These individuals connect easily with students and can share their recent experience at the company and why they chose to work at your organization.

2) Have enough staff presenting

It's a really good idea to have more than one presenter.

We recommend that you have at least two co-op employers be present. Having one present and one to moderate questions at the end of your session can make your session run smoothly.

3) Nail your presentation!

We recommend that you make sure that your presentation slides include the following:

  • Agenda of what students can expect during VEIS
  • Easy to read content
  • Lots of graphics (i.e. pictures of the workplace, staff members, fun socials, products produced)
  • Direct contact information for questions and resume submission

4) Make your VEIS interactive

A sea of blank faces is every presenters' nightmare. Engaging your audience makes for a much more interesting session. Consider:

  • Having a prize giveaway for students. For example, e-gift card to a winning student is always welcome.
  • Playing a game during the session, something interactive to maintain interest and showcase your culture. Trivia is a great example!
  • Showcase your products or services with a demo video.
  • Also doing a fun workshop with the students, like resume writing techniques or a fun interactive game that teaches a student how to stand out during an interview.

5) Learn from your audience

Gathering data or information from your audience is a great idea. Consider doing a real-time survey or poll through Poll Everywhere or Mentimeter.

6) Promote your VEIS session

Getting word out for attendance is key. There are lots of ways you can consider promoting your session. Including:

  • Social Media. Use your own social media feeds (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to promote your VEIS. Tag @uwaterloocoop_cee and @uwaterlooinfosess to help us amplify your post!
  • Connect with former UW co-ops. Ask your former UW co-op students to spread the word across campus.
  • Invite applicants from WaterlooWorks. Reach out personally students who have applied to your jobs in WaterlooWorks by pulling all the email addresses from student resumes.

7) Consider using video content

Consider short but engaging videos about the organization and the work the staff do there (these videos shown at the start of a virtual event can help to shorten the length of long PowerPoint slides).

8) Tweak your session to reflect the current status at your organization

Being honest with the students about how the workplace has changed since COVID-19 and what that means for the students/positions you currently have available and how organizations are supporting their co-ops and new hires during these challenging time.

9) Be concise when picking a title for your event

We add the following naming convention on the EIS WaterlooWorks calendar "Employer Name - Session Title - Session type". Sessions with a specific focus, tells the students exactly what they can expect from the event. Some suggestions could be:

  • Shaping your present and future
  • Digital Technologies Internship and Early Careers
  • Fireside chat with our CEO and Tech Talk
  • 2021 Internship Program
  • Coop and Full-time opportunities
  • How to Succeed in a Technical Interview
  • A Day in the Life

10) Consider what platform to use

Platform Cisco WebEx Microsoft Teams
Features
  • Ability to release and collect polls

  • General and direct messaging

  • Q&A tab that keeps track of which questions have been answered

  • Focused “lead presenter” screen share permissions

  • Ability to release and collect polls

  • General and direct messaging

  • Breakout rooms

  • Attendees are able to control own microphones and cameras

  • Screenshare audio support

Best for
  • Focused, one-way presentations with one main [video] presenter

  • When bandwidth demand or noise from many attendees is a concern

  • Presentations expecting many questions, which are more easily organized

  • Employers looking for student engagement with audio/visual interactions

  • Presentations involving multiple presenters each sharing separate documents

  • Presentations with screen shared content with audio

Employers are welcome to facilitate sessions as the host using any platform. Support from the University of Waterloo’s Employer Information Sessions team will still be provided.

Additional tips for presenters:

  • Personal experiences from interviews that presenters have had and why they were successful in landing the job can be engaging.
  • Start with "housekeeping" items. It's a good idea to allow a few minutes for people to arrive to the session. Use this time to remind the audience to complete an attendance poll.
  • Before starting to present, introduce yourself and your team of panelists, including what your role is, when you began working for the organization, why you love the organization, are you an alumnus? etc.
  • Give students an agenda, for example an opening slide with an event overview and when you want them to ask questions.
  • Explain to the students how they can ask their questions i.e. features of WebEx Event.
  • Have at least two employers on the call, one to present, while another moderates the question and answer period. If you’re unable to have two people on the call, let EIS Team know by emailing us ahead of scheduled event so they can work with you to moderate student questions that arise during your event.
  • Feel comfortable using video so students can see your face during the presentation.