Are Virtual Career Fairs Worth The Time and Effort?

Like Virtual Reality, But Better, Because You Get Your Dream Job In Pyjamas

 

So you want to get a job. But you’re dead broke and can’t afford to travel to a career fair to source for a job. Welcome to the life of a broke graduate. On another note, congratulations! You’ve graduated!!

With the rise of technology and youngsters like you, constantly plugged into the net, it makes sense for recruiters to go into the net to find people to fill positions in their companies. Which is why recruiters have come up with a virtual career fair!

 

What is a Virtual Career Fair?

A Virtual Career Fair (VCF) essentially works like a traditional job fair, but the whole thing is held online. Through VCFs, employers and job seekers can meet and interact with potential candidates from the comfort of their home or office. All you need is a computer, good internet connection, and you’re ready to get that job you want.

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Getting Noticed In The Virtual Crowd

If you think getting noticed in person is hard, wait till you enter the online world. With ease of access, and millions of people attending VCFs, how can you stand out from the crowd so your future employers can see/hear you?

 

Step 1: Understanding How VCFs Work

Just like physical career fairs, each VCF  is different and requires different things. In the case of VCFs, some might create virtual conference rooms that are similar to real-life career fairs, while others may stick to more prehistoric basic online technologies. So spend some time to familiarize yourself on how the VCF that you are attending works. Some of the key things to take note of are:

  • What navigation are they using?
  • What are your passwords/IDs (Keep it somewhere accessible in case you forget)
  • Do you need to have resumes or scanned documents prepared?

 

Step 2: GOOGLE!

Google, also known as Research will be your best buddy during this period. There are 2 things that you need your buddy for, and they are:

  1. Getting to know your options
  2. Tailoring your Resumes

Getting to know your options

The beauty of attending a VCF is that you get to know who are the organizations and companies that are participating. Some of them might even state what positions they are looking out for. Instead of spamming every booth with your resume, do some research on the companies and positions they are searching for to see which one matches your skill set.

“By focusing on the jobs that match your skill sets, this enables candidates to tailor their resumes to more closely fit the open positions of the employer and have a decided advantage.”

– Mark Bornstein, Senior Manager, Content Marketing for ON24 (virtual events company in San Franciso, California, USA)

Tailoring your Resumes

Just like how you need to tailor suits, your resumes need to be tailored so that it will be a better fit for the job that you are applying for. Some VCFs allow you to upload a version of your resume before the career fair. If you do upload your resume, take note that your resume should focus on a specific job/position that you are applying for.

Check out this detailed article for awesome information on writing a resume. (Trust me, it’s pretty awesome ;))

 

Step 3: Suit Up

As Barney Stinson in How I met Your Mother says,

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I know, I know, the title says that you can get a job in your pyjamas. Don’t lose heart yet, because some VCFs might not require you to show yourself on the spot. But this is in the event the VCF you are attending requires you to show yourself on the webcam so they can interact with you live. To prevent any heart attacks from occurring, here are 3 quick tips for you:

Tip 1: Test Your Equipment

Make sure that your internet connection speed, webcam, and microphone are operating at optimal condition. In addition to these, double check your computer to see if the most recent Java and FLash works.

Tip 2: Spring Cleaning

Besides making your parents proud that you are finally cleaning up the house, in the event that yo uneed to show yourself on webcam, you can speak to the interviewer in peace knowing that your surroundings are in tip-top condition. After all, we don’t want interviewers to see a pile of clothes on your bed like some hamster nest.

Tip 3: Dress to Impress

Although VCF is a less formal form of career fairs, there might be cases where you need to show yourself on webcam to the interviewers. By dressing professionally, it shows the interviewers that you are serious and gives them a great first impression.

 

Step 4: Be a Scribe

At a traditional job fair, you must be spontaneous and think on your feet. However, a virtual event means that you can consult your notes during conversations. Consulting your notes will help you focus on what you want to say to recruiters.

So what should your notes include?

  • Details about past projects
  • Facts about the organization
  • List of questions to ask the employer
  • What growth plans does the organization have
  • Size of the team
  • Potential responsibilities that you will be handling

So now that we have shown you how to stand out from the crowd, let’s look at how you can make the most out of VCF:

Just remember the word TASK. What does TASK stand for?


Take advantage of workshops & webinars

If a career fair is offering opportunities to learn more and improve your job-hunting and career development skills, then by all means take advantage. While not every webinar offered may interest you, make sure to make time for those that do.

Always get information for follow-up

If you do interview with an employer during the career fair, don’t bid adieu until you’ve gotten an email or phone number you can reach them at for follow-up. It will not only help put your mind at ease, but show them that you’re truly interested in the job.

Start Early

The early bird gets the worm, as they say, and that advice is probably wise for attending career fairs as well. Don’t wait until the fair is halfway over to start. Get in there early and start connecting!

Keep in Touch

If you met some really great people at the career fair there’s no reason to lose touch once it’s over. Use email, LinkedIn, or other social sites to keep in contact and share your career experiences.

So what are you waiting for?

Get out there and start finding your dream job now! All with a hot cup of milo in hand 🙂 In the meantime, here’s a video to reward you for reading through everything.

Cover Image from http://www.intercall.com/interview-tips/how-to-conduct-an-online-interview.php#virtual

Photo courtesy of http://wonderfulengineering.com/how-to-suit-up-like-barney-stinson-an-engineers-guide/

Photo & Video courtesy of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8DjuGlVknQ

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