As technology continues to advance, more employers use virtual career fairs as a way to connect with a wider pool of candidates. They aren’t bound by geography; they are able to instantly meet with prospective candidates from all over the globe. So, what does that mean for virtual job fair attendees?
Virtual job fairs can take on several different formats. You may be navigating an elaborate virtual environment made up to look like a real-world job fair or you may simply have a list of employers with links to their job postings. Some will have virtual chat rooms that allow you to interact with recruiters while others may offer live video chat. It’s important to research the format in advance so you know how you will be interacting with employers.
It’s important to research the format in advance so you know how you will be interacting with employers.
If video chat is being used to interact with employers, ensure that your webcam is set up properly. Dress like you would when interacting with employers face-to-face and be cognizant of what the webcam can see behind and around you. Yes, this might mean that you’ll have to clean your room. Throw away those empty pizza boxes!
If employer interaction takes place in a chat session, make sure that you’re using professional language at all times. Sometimes people can mistake a chat room for casual conversation, but always remember that you aren’t talking to your friends. Avoid using slang and emoticons. Consider having prepared answers to stock questions (ex: “What is your greatest strength?”). That way, you can cut-and-paste to save some time on having to type out the same answer several times over.
A great advantage that you’ll have in a virtual job fair is that you can keep notes right in front of you. You can have talking points prepared as well as info on the company and the position. If you know the name of the person you’ll be speaking with beforehand, you can even have notes on his or her background. Along with your pre-prepared notes, be sure to take copious notes during your interactions with employers. Make sure that you know what steps you need to take next and jot down contact info of all company representatives you interact with.
If you still have questions, make sure you schedule an appointment with your career advisor! Your advisor can help you navigate a virtual or in-person career fair as well as assist you with fine-tuning your elevator pitch, resume and networking approach.