Job Hunting Tips: Virtual Job Fairs

Job Hunting Tips: Virtual Job Fairs

A virtual career fair is a relatively new concept that makes finding a new job something you can do without leaving your home. If you're not already familiar with virtual job fairs, there are a few things you should know. The experience could be just what you need to secure your next job.

How Do Virtual Job Fairs Work?

A virtual job fair is just like a traditional career fair, but it's all online. Instead of driving to an on-site location, you can do everything from your own home. They're similar to participating in a webinar. Much like a webinar, these events occur at a set time. Once they start, recruiters meet with job seekers via chat rooms and webcasts.

Virtual job fairs are often unique in their formats. Generally, there are about four different platforms organizers choose from to set up their fairs. Before you attend the fair, you should try to gather information on how the job fair works.

During the fair, you may have an opportunity to submit your resume, participate in an interview, and receive a job offer. It's a simple way to get your name out and even get a new job.

The Benefits of Attending a Virtual Career Fair

Since the Coronavirus pandemic, virtual career fairs have been more popular than ever. But there's more to it than limiting interaction. There are plenty of other benefits to participating in an online career fair.

The Convenience

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of a virtual career fair is the fact that it's convenient. You can enjoy the job hunt from the comfort of your own home. While you need to consider the way you carry yourself or look on camera, you don't need to worry about commuting or packing a briefcase.

No Expenses

As long as you already have a computer and internet access, you don't need to spend any money to join in on the job hunt. At the most, you may need to pay a small registration fee. With an in-person fair, you have to pay for travel expenses, new outfits, and at least one meal. The costs add up.

If you're unemployed, these expenses can have a significant impact on your finances. A virtual job fair takes no toll on your wallet and can even get you in a better financial position.

Less Bias

No matter how much a person might try to be unbiased, there's no way around it. Everyone has one type of bias or another. Your first visual impression could be why an employer does or doesn't hire you. When you do a phone interview or a video interview, the bias goes away.

In an online fair, your resume is your first impression, and your looks play much less of a part. Your qualifications speak for themselves, and physical bias doesn't matter. This increases your chances of getting a job.

Directly Meet Higher Ups

When you submit your resume through an online job platform or to a company, the right people don't see it. In fact, resume bots might be the only thing looking at your document. They scan for keywords and often skip past qualified resumes.

At a virtual job fair, you can meet directly with recruiting personnel. If you make a good impression with the right person, you might end up with a job offer.

Learn About New Opportunities

Companies don't immediately post job listings on their websites or on job platforms. At times, they save them for career fairs. When you attend the fair, you can be one of the first to find out about a new job listing. You get an edge on the competition and might even have a job offer before the listing goes public.

How to Succeed at the Fair

Despite the many advantages of attending a virtual job fair, there are some challenges. If you want to maximize your chance of overcoming those challenges, consider following these tips:

Prepare Your Documents

Days before the event, make sure you're ready to impress. Edit and update your resume and make sure you know how to find it in your files. Even though you won't be meeting anyone in person, it's useful to have a hard copy of your resume to look at.

You should also have a cover letter ready to send over. Just as you would submit a cover letter for a job listing you find online, you may need to submit a cover letter to a prospective employer at the fair.

Be Ready for the Interview

Another way to prepare yourself is to practice the most common interview questions. While there's no guarantee you'll have an interview, it doesn't hurt to be ready for one. Doing so may ease your nerves and make you stand out.

If it helps, ask a friend or family member to do a mock interview. Work on being confident, positive, and professional.

Study the Companies in Attendance

Before the virtual job fair, you should be given access to all of the companies that plan to attend the event. To stand out from other attendees, research the companies. You don't need to be an expert on the company, but you should know some basic information.

Your research may also save you time on a lost cause. If a company doesn't align with your values, there's no point in applying for a position with them. Researching the various participants allows you to know which companies deserve your attention.

Know the Platform

As mentioned earlier, the technology surrounding virtual job fairs varies. Although you may have attended online fairs in the past, there's no guarantee you know how this one works.

Take the time to be familiar with the app or platform. If you need to download anything, do so hours or days before the event. Check that your computer's microphone and camera work well, or you won't be able to communicate.

Take it Seriously

Despite being virtual, this type of job fair could easily result in a job offer. Don't make the mistake of treating a virtual job fair as a joke. With the right attitude, you can leave with a job offer.

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