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Attending Virtual Career Fairs: Tips for Job Seekers

Attending Virtual Career Fairs: Tips for Job Seekers KnowledgeToWork.com
Friday, May 1, 2020
Posted in category Job Seekers by

Virtual career fairs are becoming more popular with businesses, organizations, colleges, and universities. They can be great tools to find job opportunities with either local employers or at a distance if you’re prepared to move and can help the job hunting process go more smoothly for both job seekers and employers. This blog post will help you make sure you’re prepared for these job searching events.

What is a Virtual Career Fair?

Virtual career fairs are very similar to in-person career fairs, but virtual career fairs take place online. Virtual career fairs can either take the form of a webpage listing the employers participating with links to separate webpages for each employer or they can be an interactive simulation that looks like a traditional in-person job fair with separate booths for each employer, a help desk, etc.

Either way the virtual job fair is presented, each employer will have a webpage with information about their company and the positions they’re hiring for. You can usually chat with hiring representatives from each employer, attend information sessions for an employer hosted through an online meeting, or both.

How to Prepare for a Virtual Career Fair

To boost your chances of success at an online job fair, you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared. While your preparations may be different than for an in-person job fair, they are just as important. It may seem like an online career fair is more relaxed, but you’ll want to show employers you take the event seriously and create a positive impression.

  • Establish an internet connection. The first thing you’ll need to do to prepare for attending a virtual job fair is to ensure you have a stable internet connection. If you don’t have this at home, see if you can sign on from a friend’s or relative’s house. Public libraries also usually provide free internet and some have private rooms you can use for free for a period of time for studying, reading, research, or attending events like digital job fairs.
  • Test job fair website. Prior to the virtual career fair, you’ll want to be sure your device is equipped to access the job fair. Some job fair events, for example, are accessible only on a desktop or laptop computer while others may be accessed from tablets and smartphones as well. Some may also offer downloadable apps you may want to use during the event. Most virtual career fairs offer a way to test that your device meets the requirements for accessing the digital career fair before the event. Information for conducting this test is usually available on the website for the event. Make sure you run this test before the day of the event so you have time to address any technical issues.
  • Do your research. Take advantage of the virtual career fair webpage by researching the employers before the event. Visit their websites and learn about their missions, goals, histories, recent projects, and the products or services provided. Familiarize yourself with the positions available if possible and write down questions you would like to ask the employer representatives at the event.
  • Plan and prioritize. After completing your research on the employers that will be present, make a list of the employers you most want to speak with during the event. Speak with these employers first to ensure you fit in the ones you’re most interested in. Knowledge to Work virtual job fairs provide scheduled opportunities to connect with each employer during the event. These use videoconferencing platforms and space is typically limited so you’ll want to sign on early to ensure you get in.
  • Update your resume. Update your resume and have it ready to submit to employers. It’s best, if possible, to tailor your resume to the specific positions you’re interested in and don’t skip proofreading for errors. Even if the event doesn’t allow you to upload your resume, you may be asked to send it to employers you speak with during the event.
  • Update social media profiles. After updating your resume, be sure to update your profile on sites like LinkedIn as well. It’s also a good idea to update other social media sites to ensure what you’re displaying publicly are things you wouldn’t mind a potential future employer seeing.
  • Improve your job search skills. Before attending the event, you want to ensure you’re well-versed in job searching skills. Knowledge to Work has many learning resources to help you prepare for job searching, including learning resources on filling out job applications, writing a resume, writing cover letters, and employment interviewing. You can also search to view all learning resources for job searching on KnowledgeToWork.com. You may also want to work on your soft skills, as these are skills employers look for in job candidates no matter the position.
  • Clean your space. Some virtual job fair events feature interactive online meetings between job candidates and employers. These meetings could be group or one-on-one meetings. If the online career fair event you’re attending might involve videoconferencing with a potential employer, you want to make sure the area you are connecting from is clean and clear of clutter.
  • Dress professionally. Even if you don’t plan to videoconference with any potential employers, you could be asked by an employer to connect in this way. Be sure you’re dressed professionally to create a positive impression.

During the Virtual Career Fair

Once you’ve put in the prep work, you’ll want to remember these key tips for success during the online career fair event.

  • Speak professionally. While chatting with an employer may seem like a casual interaction, you want to create a great first impression through your written communications. Speak in chat boxes as you would speak with an employer during an interview. Use proper grammar and avoid using slang, texting abbreviations, and emojis.
  • Body language. If you do speak with an employer via video, be sure to use positive, confident body language as you would in an in-person interview. Be sure to look at the camera of your device, instead of looking at the recruiter on your screen.
  • Take notes. Have a pen and notebook handy for notetaking while chatting or speaking with employer representatives. These notes will come in handy later if you’re asked to interview for a position.
  • Next steps. Before signing off with a recruiter, be sure to get their contact information if it’s not already available on the employer’s profile page. Also ask the recruiter about next steps you should take, which may include filling out a job application or scheduling an interview.

After the Virtual Career Fair

Employers will be speaking with many job candidates during the virtual job fair. To ensure you stand out and are remembered by employers, follow the next steps.

  • Follow up. The day after the virtual job fair, send employers you spoke with an email to thank them for speaking with you, remind them of your interest and qualifications for an open position, and attach your resume to ensure they have easy access.
  • Complete next steps. Make sure you complete any next steps you were informed of by the recruiter in a timely manner.

 

Virtual job fairs can be a great way to connect with and learn more about potential future employers. Because you’re able to speak with many employers in one day, they can lead to a greater chance of job searching success and land you in a new position quickly. A positive outcome is even more likely when you commit to preparing for the event and follow the guidelines described above.

 

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This blog post will help you make sure you’re prepared for job searching success at virtual career fairs.


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