The traditional job fair is something I am sure you are familiar with. You walk from exhibition booth to exhibition booth looking at the recruiters, perhaps talking to one or two of them, and of course collecting free pens and other assorted goodies. However things are changing and these traditional job fairs are too!
There is a new type of fair and that fair is called the Virtual Job Fair. A virtual job fair allows you to visit a job fair without leaving your own home! However you still need to be aware of how to get the most from these fairs. Below I have listed some valuable tips to make sure you get more success at a virtual job fair:
Before attending a virtual job fair you should do the following:
- Plan in advance. Although more convenient, a virtual job fair can be a bit more challenging that a normal job fair. Since there is no need to travel, there may be more events, more recruitment firms and even more information. Therefore you need to establish priorities.
- Presenting your profiles. Make sure that your social media profiles, such as LinkedIn are up to date, correct and sell you as a professional. If you use Twitter make sure all your comments are suitable for a work environment.
- Turbo charge your website! If you don’t already have one, now might be the time to set up a website to give more information about yourself (remember any recruiter or company will google your name to find out more about you!) A simple website will allow you to post news, views and reviews of what is happening in your industry and show that you like to keep up to date with your industry.
- Picture this. Make sure that your website/LinkedIn or Twitter profile have a professional headshot picture of you. You don’t necessarily have to go to a professional photographer but you do need to make sure the picture looks professional. Therefore no cropped pictures from nights out etc
- Testing, testing 1-2-3. Make sure your computer is working and reliable just in case you are asked to do a Skype or other video conference review.
- Check your documentation. Since you are looking for a new position I assume you have read and reread your resume and that everything is spell checked. However, are you certain that your documentation can be read online by different browsers and on mobile devices? Remember some recruiters may be accessing your information on the go.
- What’s your elevator pitch. Something we all need to work on is our elevator pitch – that 60 second pitch where we can talk about ourselves. In many virtual job fairs recruiters will ask you to either record a short introduction about yourself or ask you for a short live video call. Either way you need to be ready!
- Be prepared for questions. The main advantage for recruiters of attending a virtual job fair is it makes the whole process of hiring easier and quicker. Always be prepared in case a recruiter asks you to do a quick video interview – ensure that you are not in your pjs and also be ready to answer interview questions on the spot!
Steps to Take During and After a Virtual Job Fair
- Be professional at all times. Always act in a professional manner. This means that you must pay attention to your grammar, how you speak (if doing an interview), your tweets and your LinkedIn comments – you are being watched!
- Time is precious. It is easy to get carried away and lose time at traditional job fair. This can as well at a virtual job fair – you spend too much time researching companies, you try to upload or submit your CV to every company. Remember if you have planned ahead you know the companies you are interested in and you can focus on those.
- Keep a note of things. As you virtually visit recruiters and communicate with them, take notes so you can keep a check on who you have talked to and what they said to you. This helps you reflect on what recruiters or companies you want to follow up on.
- Learn something new. One thing that many fairs offer (both virtual and traditional) are free webinars and seminars. Take advantage to learn as much as you can as more often than not they have experts talking about relevant topics that can help in your job search.
- It’s about networking. Although you may not get a job there and then, job fairs are are a great way to make new contacts – with recruiters and other key people within companies. Make sure that you exchange emails. But even before attending you can look for the key players in companies and visit their LinkedIn profile to find out more about them. Once you have met people make sure that you follow up with them.
- People appreciate a thank you. If, and when, you talk to people make sure you always thank them for the opportunity and thank them for their time. People remember and appreciate this.