What To Expect
Virtual career fairs are just like traditional ones; the only difference is that it’s held virtually on an interactive platform. Your online presence will be different because you meet in a chat room as an individual or group. The pandemic has changed the way we communicate. Overnight, a handshake became a weapon, and face-to-face meetings are still on hold. But that doesn’t mean your skills and qualifications can’t shine. Potential employers will be looking for engagement and interaction.
Before the Virtual Career Fair
Prepare. Register ahead of time to ‘enter’ the fair prepared. Set yourself up for success and plan for any last-minute problems before they happen.
Knowledge is Power. Do your research. What companies do you want to meet with? Focus on those companies first.
Stand Out For The Right Reason. If you’re prepared and have questions ready, you’re halfway there. I’ve never met an employer who didn’t like curious candidates. If you’re qualified, your interest plus knowledge of the company will make you a good candidate.
Be Email Appropriate. Is it professional? Think Lisa@LisaGrotts.com, not Lisa@DrunkGirl333.com. Remember that your cyber DNA is here to stay. Your online presence must be appropriate because it will live in e-infamy. Plus, you only have one shot at a first impression online.
Resume Prep. Make sure your résumé is up-to-date and proofread; the more eyes, the better! If a platform allows, such as LinkedIn, upload your résumé, so it is accessible and ready to hand over to any employers you meet.
Social Media Handles. The same goes for your social media handles. All of the content should be consistent.
Practice Your Pitch. Ask the following: How will you introduce yourself? Why are you interested in the company? What types of positions are you seeking? What is your previous work experience? What do you plan on asking the representatives at the career fair? Make sure you have questions ready to go that will impress recruiters. Your goal is to stand out in a crowd of applicants.
During the Virtual Career Fair
- Dress to Impress. Wear a professional outfit such as a suit or dress. Blue is the best color for television because it’s bright. Be presentable and polished, at least from the waist up!
- Silent Your Mobile. If you need to take notes, tape the session.
- Be Confident. Present yourself as the only candidate for the job. Do this by being prepared, confident, and professional.
- Do An I. T. Check. Check both sound and video settings before you begin a session. It’s Murphy’s Law that on the day you need it most, it will fail you, so choose your device wisely. You may even need headphones if you can’t get to a private or a quiet location.
- Perfect Posture. Sit straight up in a chair and put a pillow behind you, so you are slouch-free. How you come across on screen is very important, so try a practice run with friends or family.
- Think Before You Speak. Don’t interrupt the interviewer or give overly long answers. Silence can be golden.
- Lighting is Key. It’s not a bad idea to invest in a Ring Light or have a backdrop to make sure you stand out. Your house may not look like Versailles, but make sure you are seen without distractions such as books and a messy desk.
After the Virtual Career Fair
- Next Steps. This is the time to ask about the next steps in the process, from getting in touch with human resources, filling out a job application, or having a formal interview. You’ll need to know to follow-up.
- Everything Is Copy. Don’t hesitate to forward your résumé right after the career fair.
- Contact Information. Make sure you leave with contact information before leaving. Some companies may have it uploaded and accessible within the platform. If not, ask how you can get in touch.
- Follow-Up. Don’t neglect to follow up after the virtual career fair, especially if you want the job.
- E-Thank You. Whether it’s an email or phone call, be sure to reach out the following day to say thank you.
- Handwritten Thank You Note. Send it within 24 hours so you will be remembered. This alone will set you apart from your competition.
- Practice Makes Perfect. Even if you don’t get the job, chalk it up to experience. Your time will come.