Attending a job fair is a tried and true method for exploring new career opportunities. At these networking events, attendees can meet with hiring managers and recruiters, learn about new job openings, chat with likeminded professionals, and even snag an interview on the spot!
Unfortunately, gathering job seekers and employers in one place is not always that easy. From the typical scheduling issues and personal commitments to newer calls for social distancing, there are quite a few obstacles that can get in your way. But thanks to technology, you can now easily access these events from the comfort of your own home!
Held online, a virtual job fair gives you the opportunity to focus on what matters most: connecting with prospective employers and interviewing for positions that align with your career goals. Other benefits include a shorter time commitment and access to a wider, more diverse pool of employers.
If you’ve ever attended an in-person job fair, you’ll be happy to hear that navigating a virtual job fair isn’t very different. Continue reading to learn how to digitally maximize your search:
Update your LinkedIn
Your LinkedIn profile will be a key connection point for the people you meet—especially in today’s virtual age. Not only will this serve as a way to stay in-touch with connections following the event, but you’ll want to be ready to link with new professionals right after you meet. As a result, you’ll want to make sure that your profile is up-to-date, including recent work experience, a professional photo, and key contact information. Read also: How To Use LinkedIn To Find A Job
Use the list of companies that will be in attendance to create a game plan. Prioritize which organizations you want to connect with, and use this new list to build a cheat sheet that you can review throughout the virtual job fair. Include information pertaining to the open positions that call for your skills, the mission statements of companies of interest, any news about their history or accomplishments, etc. Doing so will show hiring managers that you are taking the job fair—and your job search—seriously.
Practice your elevator pitch
You never get a second chance at making a first impression. As a result, it’s important to prepare your elevator pitch, which is a 30-60 second summary of you as a professional, your goals, and what you can offer. While you don’t want to memorize it to the point of sounding robotic, knowing exactly how you want to portray yourself can help you sound more confident and self-assured.
Check your technology + surroundings
Similar to how you would prepare for a video interview, you’ll want to ensure your technology and surroundings set you up for success. The last thing you want is for a bad Wi-Fi connection or a noisy environment to distract a potential employer from getting to know more about your skills and experience. Read also: Change Of Plans? How To Adapt To A Video Interview Process
Get dressed up
In the same vein, you’ll want to dress to impress for a virtual job fair. Wear what you would to an in-person job fair, ensuring you get dressed from head to toe. Doing this will not only make a good impression, but it will put you in the right mindset for job searching.
While this may seem like the point of a virtual job fair, don’t limit your conversations to only recruiters and hiring managers. Talk to your fellow job seekers! You’ll be surprised at how many leads and tips you can obtain from people you meet in your industry. In return, you should also share advice, your experiences, and be cordial. As with any event, in-person or virtual, you never know who you may wind up meeting. Read also: How To Build Virtual Business Relationships
Recruiters and hiring managers will meet a lot of professionals at virtual job fairs, so the best way to stand out and forge a connection with a potential employer is to follow up within 24-48 hours of the event. When reaching out, try to keep your email or LinkedIn message straight-to-the point and make sure you reference where you met and what positions you are interested in. Remember, a lack of proactivity can mean a missed opportunity, so don’t wait around for the hiring manager to contact you first.