Virtual job fairs have existed for a while but now are becoming more mainstreamed and being recognized as a very useful tool by both job seekers and employers. Companies looking to match job openings with candidates with the right skills are turning to virtual job fairs to reduce cost and also to expand reach. In these online events candidates and employers meet in a virtual environment but are able to have ‘face to face’ meetings and discussion. Job seekers can sign in and upload resume to be matched with employers, or are able to simply browse companies’ online “booths”. These “booths” are often staffed by recruiters and hiring managers and candidates can ‘line-up’ to ‘speak’ with them directly on topics such as job openings, growth opportunities, compensation, benefits and company culture.
America’s Job Exchange (AJE) is very proud to unveil its first virtual career fair, February 12, 2015, 12pm-5pm. On the actual day of the event, employers will have a chance to chat with candidates in a real-time live chat that is timed so that they can interact with numerous talented job seekers. The advantages of a virtual job fair are that candidates can be part of a recruitment event from the comfort of their own home. In one day, they are able to meet a multitude of recruiters and hiring managers from different companies. The travel expense is completely eliminated and there are ample networking opportunities. Also, much of the information in an online job fair can be digested at the job seeker’s own pace. Sometimes there are live one-on-one chats with high level executives that a job seeker would probably not have had access to in a traditional job fair.
Here are some helpful tips for a smooth seeker experience at our virtual career fair:
- Answer questions about skills, experience and interests to decide company compatibility
- Communicate with hiring managers and recruiters through instant message and other online technologies
- Apply immediately to posted jobs
- Visit virtual ‘booths’ to learn more about companies and also through their message and video boards
Before the Fair:
We will inform you about the organizations that are participating prior to the fair through email blasts. Select companies that you are interested in and conduct research on them. You should research company products, culture, news and events. Visit their website and see what job openings they have posted. Prepare questions for the hiring managers and recruiters. Your questions should reflect your knowledge of company needs and that you are the best candidate for them.
Update your LinkedIn and other social media profile. Along with that, also update your resume.
During the Fair:
On the day of the virtual fair, turn off your cell phone and sit in a quiet and non-distracting space in case recruiters/employers want to Skype with you. Have a hard copy of your resume handy to refer to while you speak and an electronic copy accessible so you can upload as needed. You need to dress well for the virtual job fair just as you would for a regular job fair, as this will help you respond in a professional manner. During a virtual job fair, a lot happens through Instant Messaging. Be mindful of being professional even while conducting a chat session. Take careful notes to keep track of people with whom you had conversations. During chats, keep on topic and do not deviate or appear familiar. An important thing to remember is to be patient as recruiters and hiring managers have multiple conversations going so there might be a delay. It is a great idea to network with other candidates to expand your network of contacts while you are waiting for responses from recruiters. Exchange leads and ask for referrals. If you come across a company that you are interested in but do not see an open position at the moment, just let the recruiter know and inquire if you can follow up and keep in touch.
After the Fair:
Quickly after the day of the virtual fair, send out thank-you emails and letters by mail. Connect with contacts on LinkedIn and stay in touch. Keep monitoring your social presence and make it stronger as you can be sure that recruiters and employers will revisit your social sites after they have had a chance to connect with you online if they are interested.
Check out our video for more information about this event.
Good luck and hope you have a great experience at our virtual job fair!