How to Enhance Your Virtual Career Fair Experience
Hire Heroes USA’s Virtual Career Fair is a one-day online career fair and networking event for the transitioning military members, veterans and military spouses who choose to participate. It is a great opportunity to speak with recruiters and hiring managers about their organizations and the job openings that they have available. During this event, your resume could get in front of as many as 10, or even 20, hiring managers in the same day.
To get the most out of our Virtual Career Fair we recommend that that you do the following:
1) Do your homework
It’s been said that finding a job is nothing more than a numbers game: apply for enough of them and sooner or later you’ll get one. While this strategy may eventually work, it can also prove to be an incredibly frustrating experience of rejection and wasted time.
A better job search strategy is to target your applications toward the jobs that interest you and companies where you can find success. Be sure to research the companies that are attending the Virtual Career Fair and make sure you review the jobs they are trying to fill. Then, make sure you target these companies during the career fair.
2) Get your house in order
Before you log in to the virtual career fair, clean up your house! Many recruiters will want to video chat with you, and the last thing you want them to see is clutter or, even worse, a messy house. Before you go online to the virtual career fair website, make sure that everything that is behind you, as you are sitting at your computer, looks professional. From the vantage point of your computer camera, both you and the rest of the scenery in the room will be visible.
3) Dress for success
While virtual career fairs may seem less formal and more relaxed than traditional career fairs or in-person interviews, they’re not. Companies make significant investments in virtual career fairs, including registration and set-up costs, personnel time, and technology. They take the events very seriously and are looking for job seekers who do the same. Dressing professionally shows them you’re serious about finding a new career.
4) Have your paperwork ready
Before you join the virtual career fair, make sure you have your resume ready. If you know what companies will be participating in the job fair (and you should if you followed the first step), try to tailor your resume to each company. Proofread them. Then have them saved on your desktop. This will allow you to quickly access them, send them in an email, and discuss with the recruiters.
5) Check your connection
There’s almost nothing worse than being in the middle of a video chat or instant messaging with a recruiter and your internet connection disconnects. Before you log on, make sure that your power supply for your computer is reliable, and make sure that you have a good internet connection.
6) Stay classy
Just because you’re sitting at your home doesn’t mean you should forget to be professional. Remember to address recruiters as “Ms.” and “Mr.” Be polite! And, don’t use emoticons, or type LOL or OMG, etc. in messages.
7) Take notes
This step is, perhaps, the easiest and most important to accomplish: Take notes. Take lots of notes – every step of the way. Before you join the virtual job fair, make sure you have made note of the companies that will be participating. What jobs do they list as being open? What are their major accomplishments? How do you think you can help them? Use your notes to develop questions to ask the recruiters. You can also use them to develop three key messages about yourself: how you can be a valuable part of their team; how your experience translates to their company’s goals; and, how you can help them. Use your notes, questions and key messages to convey to others how prepared you are for this event.
8) Follow Up
Send thank you notes to everyone who takes the time to talk to you. It will impress them and keep your name and resume at the top of their mind.