Digital Career Fairs hurt personal connections

Can you describe an entire person with a checklist? Probably not, but that hasn’t stopped collegefeed from trying.

This year in collaboration with collegefeed and Carnegie Mellon’s Career and Professional Development Center, Carnegie Mellon students will participate in the first-ever digital career fair, starting April 21.

Students who wished to participate filled out a profile and named three companies they were interested in by April 5. Collegefeed then used this information to match students with potential employers. Collegefeed then sends the profiles of possible candidates to the companies, who make a final decision on who to contact.

The digital career fair does offer benefits for busy students. In-person career fairs can consume a large amount of time and yield little benefit, and the digital career fair cuts down on time wasted waiting in lines only to be told to go to the company’s website. If the system is being broken down into individual company’s online applications, why not make the whole career fair online.

Yet for those students who don’t necessarily look good on paper, this digital shift may not allow them the opportunity to shine in person. This may also be a problem for those who wish to switch career paths and whose skills go beyond “good problem solving and synergy” which can be easily characterized in a check-the-box style.

While the digital career fair offers an excellent second route, traditional career fairs should not disappear. Though many students may not gain anything from the TOC or EOC, the value of person-to-person connections should not be forgotten.