London Met develops careers toolkit for virtual careers fairs

The toolkit aims to support students from underrepresented backgrounds to build confidence when communicating with employers in virtual settings.

Date: 20 September 2022

A new careers toolkit to support students from underrepresented backgrounds has been co-developed by London Met. It aims to build confidence when communicating with employers in virtual settings, and ultimately to assist these students to make successful applications to employers they meet at virtual fairs. 

The Collaborative Enhancement Project was funded by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), and developed by London Met in collaboration with the University of Greenwich, the University of Hertfordshire, Kingston University, the University of Roehampton, University of West London, and the University of Westminster. It was recently highlighted by WonkHE, a publication and community for higher education policy professionals, which aims to bring the sector together through expert analysis, debate and insight.

The toolkit is organised chronologically, with bite-sized directions, easily accessible FAQs and downloadable tools, and includes a Virtual Fairs Action Planner that helps students to collect the right information and turn it into great applications. The toolkit was developed in response to industry reports, anecdotal feedback and evaluations that suggest students from underrepresented groups do not feel confident in accessing virtual careers events.  

Speaking on behalf of the project team, Jonathan Eastwood, Careers and Employability Service Manager at London Metropolitan University commented, “Evaluation from virtual fairs and research supporting this toolkit has shown that there is significant support required to help students from specific groups with virtual employer interactions, which appear to be here to stay.

“By working collaboratively across institutions, with students and employers we have been able to create a toolkit which will make a difference for a large number of students.”

Dr Ailsa Crum, QAA’s Director of Membership, Quality Enhancement and Standards said, “This Collaborative Enhancement Project responds to an identified challenge regarding the confidence of students from traditionally underrepresented groups when engaging with prospective employers.

“By supporting these students to develop skills underpinning digital communication and problem-solving, this toolkit can make a tangible difference in supporting these cohorts to convert virtual conversations into successful applications.”

The toolkit for virtual careers fairs is available via the project page. Students involved in this project have also recorded a video explaining how the toolkit can help students when engaging in virtual career fairs.