“I saw an ad on Yahoo! the other day for a virtual career fair. I really like some of the companies participating but have never gone to a career fair like this – is that even right? Do you “go” to virtual career fairs? Any tips for someone who’s never attended one of these?” – Terrence from Detroit, MI
Thanks for your question, Terrence. More and more companies are using virtual career fairs to recruit new workers. This format provides a cost-effective strategy to connect with lots of potential talent.
Businesses can offer information about their company in interesting ways – videos, graphics, links to their social media presence – and can engage one-on-one with job seekers like you through email, chat or even through Skype. We’re likely to see this type of recruitment strategy continue to grow – so now’s a great time to think about what these online events mean for you as someone looking for a job.
How it works: All you have to do is sign up, post your résumé, and start visiting the virtual “booths” of employers. Each booth will have information about the employer and the jobs available, and there will be opportunities to speak with recruiters right at the event. From your computer, you’ll be able to communicate and engage with job exhibitors and attendees in a virtual environment. As long as you have Internet access, you’ll be able to participate.
Just like an in-person career fair, there are several things you can do to get ready for a virtual career fair:
Make sure your résumé is up to date: Employers will see this first when they search for job seekers. Proofread yours very carefully and make sure that you call out your accomplishments and skills.
Get to know the participating companies: Participating companies will have lots of information available in their booth – things like company history, culture and even testimonies from current employees. Use this information to get to know them, and visit their websites as well. The virtual part of the virtual career fair gives you the chance to learn lots of information about companies.
Ask relevant questions: Once you’ve learned about the various participating companies and determined which ones you are interested in, connect with them via email or chat. Make sure you ask questions from the research you’ve done on the company. Inquire about the latest news about them – and then weave into the conversation how your skills and abilities will make the company better.
My best advice is to treat an online job fair like a real one. Be organized and professional and make a plan. Check the schedule of events to see if a company you’re interested in is having a webinar or chat times. Then browse all the companies and set your priorities. Once the event begins, start visiting the booths and looking for that great opportunity!
Goodwill Industries International will be hosting a virtual career fair during the first full week of May. Stay tuned to this blog for more details about how to register and attend!