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Virtual Careers Fair Toolkit

The purpose of the toolkit is to support students and graduates from groups which are traditionally underrepresented in higher education to:

  • Build confidence when communicating with employers in virtual settings
  • Develop skills underpinning digital communication and problem solving online
  • Increase the number of students who make successful applications to employers they speak to
  • Create networks that will support them in graduate job searches and beyond.

This toolkit is contains bite-sized directions, easily accessible FAQs and a Virtual Fairs Action Planner that will help you to collect the right information and turn it into great applications.

This toolkit was created in response to industry reports, anecdotal feedback and evaluations that suggest students from underrepresented groups do not feel confident in participating virtual careers events and applying for jobs with employers they meet.

The toolkit is designed to be inclusive and relevant to all students and graduates, particularly those from underrepresented groups.

Toolkit partners


Students and graduates who participated in the Inclusive Futures Fair 2021 were surveyed on their experiences preparing, participating and applying for jobs after the event. Their feedback indicated the following:

  • An overwhelming majority of students had a positive experience, but only 48% made applications to employers they met at the fair.
  • Those that did make applications made an average of less than 2 applications, despite there being 83 employers present.
  • Students wanted more support to make connections with the recruiters they met and to have access to more materials that would better support them to make applications.

Employers who participated in the Inclusive Futures Fair 2021 were also surveyed for their advice on what students could do to get the most out of virtual fairs. Employer feedback suggested that:

  • Students should appear interested and come prepared with questions or information that will help them to make an impact
  • Where possible, complete some outline research on the company and arrive with a clear idea of what they want to get out of conversations
  • Employers want universities to help them reach diverse student groups
  • Students should “have fun” and “enjoy” the experience, which presents a valuable learning opportunity.

How to use the Toolkit

The Toolkit is divided into six sections. Completing each of the sections below will best support you to make applications to employers you meet at virtual fairs. Each section directs you to record information in the Virtual Fairs Action Planner as you progress.

Final evaluation report: Developing a toolkit to enable students from unrepresented backgrounds to develop confidence and competencies

Publication date: 16 Jun 2023


What do you do if any of the following happen on the day? Click on each question to find some useful tips.

Underpinning this project is a commitment to creating equity and inclusion, recognising that students from underrepresented groups can lack the social capital needed for securing graduate level employment and, as a result of complex demands on their time, may be less prepared for online careers events.


The project produced a toolkit, co-created by students, recent graduates, academics and employers, which enables students from underrepresented backgrounds to develop the confidence and competencies required to access and participate successfully in virtual events for graduate-level employment.


The toolkit was complemented by an Inclusive Futures Online Careers Fair in November 2022, delivered in partnership with Group GTI, where students were able to apply their learning from a range of resources including videos, case studies and good practice guides. 


The work of this project has helped to prepare students from underrepresented groups to engage fully and effectively with graduate employers, enhancing their student learning for the purpose of career decision making and creating opportunity.


View final evaluation report


Project lead: 

London Metropolitan University


Project partners: 

University of West London, University of Westminster, University of Hertfordshire, Kingston University and University of Roehampton

Other Collaborative Enhancement Projects

QAA supports a number of projects every year, covering a range of topics and interest areas. Each is led by a QAA Member, working in collaboration with other members institutions. You can find more information on all projects, and access resources and outputs, on our website.