Interviews in pyjamas: an easier way to job search during COVID

Guest post by Kim Dias

Job searches are tricky enough when life is normal. In the middle of a global pandemic, it’s even worse. How are you meant to network when you’re not even sure if it’s safe to see your friends?

UVic is usually a great place to help with a job search. From co-op to the work study program, UVic has so many resources for students who are looking for work. The career fair is usually one of the best ways for students to find jobs and connect with potential employers. But this year, the fair had to be cancelled—thanks, Covid.

So instead, UVic collaborated with UBC and SFU to create the West Coast Virtual Fair, running 17-18 November this year.

West Coast virtual job fair on laptop screen

The fair is exactly like a regular career fair—just virtual rather than in-person. It’s a networking event that gives us the chance to connect with potential employers and discover new opportunities.

It’s so easy to feel defeated in the middle of this pandemic—but there are over 180 exhibitors setting up booths at the virtual fair. All of them are still looking to connect with students and find new employees.

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I graduated right as the lockdown was starting in Victoria. Classes were cancelled, convocation was put on hold and none of us had any idea what the future would bring. “It will be over in a few weeks,” some people said, while others stocked up on enough tinned foods to last for months. (I, meanwhile, searched desperately for toilet paper in every store I went to.)

Great time to be job hunting, huh?

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The West Coast Virtual Fair will be the virtual version of this career fair!

It feels like every company in the world has been sending us thoughtful, caring messages. “We’re here for you”; “we’re all in this together”; “we’re people, just like you.” So many empty words that offer very little help.

The West Coast Virtual Fair is an opportunity to finally receive some practical support.

There will be information about career options, volunteer positions, and graduate schools and professional programs. You can sign up for group info sessions or even one-on-one information sessions, where you’ll be able to video chat with a company or school and connect with them personally. The fair is open to UVic students and alumni.

Best of all? Since it’s virtual, you can be in your pyjamas. (Well, maybe only from the waist down. Make sure to dress professionally from the waist up.)

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We’re all tired of Zoom classes, Skype meetings, trying to talk to our friends as our internet connection glitches. But the West Coast Virtual Fair feels hopeful, somehow. I won’t just be sitting and listening—I’ll be participating. I’ll get to talk to real people with real companies and make new connections. It feels good to be planning for the future, even if I’m not sure what it will hold.

After all, as every single email points out now, we’re living in uncertain times.

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Register for the West Coast Virtual Fair

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