With the sharp uptick in candidates hitting job boards and seeking out new opportunities recently, there is more need than ever for career events. However, without the ability to meet in person, options are limited to online resources.
BestCompaniesAZ offers up-to-date information on companies hiring throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll also find tons of resources for job seekers to help navigate their time in between jobs.
Another option for job seeking online is attending a virtual career fair. These online events have been gaining steam in recent years as technology develops, but they’re now more relevant than ever!
How Does a Virtual Career Fair Work
A traditional career fair has a format that is fairly easy to understand. Candidates walk around a large room and connect with recruiters that represent a variety of employers.
A virtual career fair, on the other hand, has a similar process but in a slightly different way. There are several platforms that host virtual career fairs, but the experience will be fairly similar no matter which one the event uses.
Common features unique to a virtual format include webinar presentations, webcasts, live chat, chat rooms, and virtual booths where you can speak directly to employers and sponsors. Attendees can join from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, making this format a great option to avoid commuting!
How to Prepare for a Virtual Career Fair
If you’ve never done a virtual career event, then you may feel like you’re preparing for a huge unknown. However, rest assured that common job seeking etiquette both in-person and online is largely similar.
Before you click ‘Join’, be sure to spend a few days before preparing yourself. Here are a few virtual career fair tips to present yourself as the best possible candidate.
1. Test Technology and Internet Speed 🌐
Although chatting with employers is optional and you’re not as exposed as in in-person career events, you should still take measures to test your tech beforehand. If the goal is to land a job, the last thing you want is for your computer to blow your chance before you even get to speak.
2. Research companies, recruiters, and positions available 🕵️
An added advantage to virtual career fairs is that you can have all your notes and research out as you navigate employers and conversations. By doing the prep work, you’ll know exactly who to talk to and what to expect before even going in. Show recruiters you did the homework and are serious about their opportunities.
3. Dress up and find an appropriate background 💼
While it’s not always possible to have a dedicated room for all your professional calls, you still want to avoid calling in from a distracting environment. Virtual career fairs that require video expose a part of your life that recruiters would otherwise never see. Look at anything you show as a part of your own branding and clean it up to reflect the “you” that you want to highlight. A t-shirt and dirty dishes just don’t give a good impression.
4. Apply to posted positions online 📋
You don’t have to wait to attend a career fair online to apply. After researching available jobs prior to a career event, apply away, then use the fair as an opportunity to make yourself known to the right recruiters and contacts. This proactive step will get you first in line ahead of most other attendees.
5. Zero in on a sector 🎯
Rather than preparing multiple resumes for distinct career paths, focus all your attention on a specific sector, industry, or position. By tailoring your resume and elevator pitch to a more narrow selection of jobs, you’ll be more confident in communicating exactly what you need to say.
6. Rehearse your unique story 🎭
In addition to a solid resume, strong LinkedIn profile, and good background knowledge of employers, it’s also wise to rehearse your unique narrative. That means crafting a verbal personal statement that precisely explains your professional history, present, and desired future. The more honest and true to yourself you stay, the more you’ll stick out as a unique candidate. Recruiters have heard just about every recycled pitch in the book, so think about how you can make yourself memorable.
7. Request contact information and follow up 📧
Don’t just swoop into a chat and disappear after asking a single question! A vital part of the process is following up after a virtual career event to seal the deal. Recruiters will talk to hundreds of candidates in a short time frame, but after it’s over, you’ll get much more undivided attention. Contact information can be very difficult to find after the fact for some employers, so make sure to request the details during the event.
How should you follow up?
Send an email thanking the recruiter for his or her time. Include any unique details that you found helpful from your conversation or webinar they led to provide some context of who you are. Lastly, you can discuss your excitement to continue the conversation offline and apply for upcoming positions.
Where to find virtual career events across the United States
In addition to 200+ companies hiring now around Arizona, online career events will also connect you with employers across the country.
These directories provide upcoming virtual career events to check out: