Even during this pandemic crisis some companies are still hiring. This is amazing news for the millions of people who have found themselves furloughed or laid off. But how do you go about finding these jobs and putting your name out there during a time of social distancing? Virtual job fairs are now no longer a thing of the future but something you need to learn to master right now.
What are Virtual Job Fairs?
Given the fact that social distancing regulations make it rather difficult to gather employers, recruiters, and job seekers in one place, virtual job fairs have taken the place of traditional job fairs or career fairs.
Thanks to the technology we all have at our fingertips, job candidates no longer have to pile into a packed place just to get a few seconds of face time with a potential employer. It may not feel as natural and comfortable as a traditional job fair, but virtual job fairs are increasingly being seen as a safe and viable option for both job seekers and hiring managers alike.
How to Prep For a Virtual Job Fair
Prepping for a virtual job fair is similar to the ways that you would prepare for a traditional job fair with a bit of tech tossed into the mix. Here are a few ways you can get ready for your next virtual job fair.
- Check your technology. Do you have the right software and is your WiFi connection solid? You may want to check that your device is working properly and that you are well acquainted with the application that you will be using. We strongly suggest a trial run or at the very least watching a few tutorials on how to use the apps such as Google Meet aka Hangouts, Skype for Business, or GoToMeeting.
- Research the companies you hope to connect with. It may be a good idea to find out where they stand financially, what jobs they are hiring for, and what skills they are looking for in particular. This way you can align your discussions to highlight the skills you have that they are in need of.
- Review your résumé. Be ready to give your two minute elevator pitch that explains who you are and what you have accomplished in your previous jobs. Keep it short and to the point because hiring managers will most likely have many candidates they are looking to connect with.
- Dress your best. Just because you are doing the job fair from home doesn’t mean you should be in your pajamas on your couch. Choose a work outfit that is appropriate and set your device up in a room that is clean and quiet.
- Look into the camera. It will be harder for a recruiter to get a sense of who you are via a video conference so do your best to look into the camera and try to reveal your personality.
After the Fair
Depending upon the format that the virtual job fair was using, you may have a few housekeeping items to complete once the fair is over. Depending upon the requirements, you may need to email your résumé and references to the hiring managers or recruiters you met with. You may also need to fill out a questionnaire about the fair and how you thought it went since this is a new development for many job seekers as well as companies.
After the job fair, you should also email a thank you to each person that you “met” with. Do not send a handwritten note as many businesses are working remotely and gathering physical mail is low on the list of tasks to accomplish. Be sure to mention in the email who you spoke with and what job you were applying for. Include links to your résumé and references.