Let’s face it. We live in a virtual world. Every day more and more of our lives are moving online. And so it only makes sense that the process of job hunting, hiring, and job fairs is going virtual. More and more companies are moving their old fashioned physical job fair to Virtual Job Fairs. Not only are we seeing large corporations utilizing virtual job fair technology to expand their global reach, but we are also seeing colleges and Universities provide a platform for companies to make an impression on soon-to-be graduates. Employers are eager to engage with the best possible candidates and are very quickly realizing that they need to think globally versus locally, in order to truly do their due diligence. One of the ways they are doing this is to employ virtual job fair technology.
One major mistake made by job seekers is to underestimate the Virtual Job Fair environment. The Virtual Job Fair can also seem overwhelming and intimidating at first. Have no fear, we are here to help. Here are six insider tips to acing a virtual job fair for candidates:
Do Your Research
Virtual job fairs are not job boards. There are times when virtual job fairs are for a specific industry or discipline. Make sure you know the details about the job fair before registering. Understand what departments are going to be participating and when they will be “live”. When will the right people be manning the Marketing booth so you can visit it at the right time? All companies post the schedule for the event, take the time to strategize and know when and where you need to be to make the biggest impact.
Take The Time To Register
The registration process can be fairly robust on a lot of the virtual job fair platforms, and for good reason! Reporting is one of the main draws of these solutions. Hiring companies can look at wealth of information, from how many different “booths” are visited to how many other attendees or recruiters the participant interacted with. The information they see in the reporting is based off of how much information you include during the registration process. So be thorough. Fill out all the fields, regardless of whether or not they are required, and be very specific about WHY you are visiting this specific virtual job fair.
TEST TEST TEST
Make sure you can enter the job fair on your current equipment. All virtual job fairs provide requirements and preferred equipment. Some might even ask you to have a webcam ready in case they want to chat with you live during the event. Make sure to run all the tests prior to joining to make sure you can visit all the areas you would like to visit.
Have Multiple Documents Ready To Go
One of the things that has frustrated companies looking to recruit candidates in a virtual job fair has been how ill-prepared candidates have been. The companies take the time to design and customize the space, staff specific areas, and provide all relevant information about their company. It is the candidate’s responsibility to do the same! Have your resume and relevant cover letters ready to go. One of the biggest issues we have heard is that candidates visit a booth to “learn” about specific role or department but when asked don’t have an updated resume for that role. Just know recruiters can note in the system, right then and there, that a candidate was NOT PREPARED.
Interact In The Booths
If you are prepared (research, register, resume) then you should feel comfortable knowing that, when you enter a booth, the people you want to talk to are there. Don’t be afraid to engage with them! We have typically found that companies assign 3-4 people to a specific booth during the “on hours” to answer questions and chat with the candidates. By no means does this replace the face to face meeting at a local event. It does, however, offer the opportunity for you to make the initial impression for your dream job. And remember…there is reporting behind the scenes that can tell the hiring company who engaged in the booths they went to, how long they stayed there, what questions they asked, and most importantly, what the recruiters thought of that candidate!
Interact In The Virtual Job Fair Itself
Companies are adding more and more interaction to their virtual job fairs. This includes things like company trivia, personality testing, networking areas, and company archives. Have fun with this stuff! Learn about the company’s history. Download relevant company documents. Meet other folks looking to work at this company and see what you have in common and why you would be great teammates! Hiring companies are really looking to see what level of interest you have in their organization and this is one way to show them that you are really committed to knowing anything and everything about the company and the people that work there.
Seize The Opportunity
A virtual job fair is not like an in-person job fair. You are going to be able to take many more notes, download contact information from recruiters, have all relevant resumes/cover letters at your fingertips, and put your best foot forward with organizations you would most likely not be able to meet in person. Take full advantage of these benefits and show these companies why you are the best candidate for the role you want! Remember, you’re also leaving your digital fingerprints all over the virtual job fair. Act accordingly and leave a digital impression worth remembering!
Virtual job fairs are gaining in popularity and the future for both hiring and discovering employers. As a rule of thumb, treat a virtual job fair as you would an in-person event. Be yourself, put our best foot forward, and make the technology work for you. Virtual Job Fairs can seem intimidating at first but by following these tips you can impress prospective employers, stand out from the crowd, and land the job of your dreams.
Morgan Will is the Director of Operations at Lighthouse Conferencing. He is passionate about improving the inner workings of companies and making sure that life’s a breeze for Lighthouse clients. He is a huge University of Colorado fan (which has aged him terribly over the last few years) and once sat next to John Elway at Elway’s Steakhouse! He loves the snow and mountains, trying every new restaurant he can find, and ridiculous movie quotes.