Yes, the world has changed and job hunting looks different these days. Luckily, there are still ways to connect with employers thanks to new virtual offerings.
Welcome, the dawn of the virtual career fair!
Have you ever left a face-to-face career fair with a bag full of goodies but feeling like you’ve missed the chance to really engage with employers? These days those distractions are gone, replaced with blogs, presentations, skills sessions and live chat. You’ll have multiple opportunities to get business-related information to help you on your way to your desired role.
But how do you make sure you make the most of a virtual career fair?
It starts with preparation.
Spend some time in the weeks leading up to the fair to familiarize yourself with each company attending, which positions they offer and what skills they might be looking for. Once you know this you can plan your time effectively.
All platforms are different so make sure you understand what this one has to offer. Most will allow you to pre-register for scheduled events so don’t miss that opportunity.
Find out whether you will be given the chance to book some time one-to-one with the employers you are interested in, and if not are there small group sessions where you can ask any questions you might have?
Also plan out what you will say on the day if given the chance of a one-on-one interaction. Have your elevator pitch honed!
Now you have planned your day consider the following:
Will you be on video? If so, decide what you will wear. It doesn’t need to be full business dress as you will no doubt interact with multiple businesses each with their own dress code but make your attire appropriate to the industry you are interested in.
Where will you be on the day of the fair? Avoid distractions and make sure your background isn’t cluttered with dirty plates or laundry.
Do you have water, snacks and a pen and paper on hand? You might find yourself jumping from one session to another without much chance to fully digest the information you’ve been given, or to pop out for refreshments.
Once at the fair take a minute to understand how to navigate the stands and sessions so you know where to look for each employer. You might need to push yourself out of your comfort zone as it’s important you engage. You have a small window so make it count by asking questions and linking with employers. You will be given multiple opportunities to register your interest so take advantage of that too as companies can then follow up with you if desired.
After the event remember to follow up! Have a pre-drafted email/LinkedIn message to connect with the employers you’ve met, which will help you stand out from the other attendees. Best case they will offer you further information, guidance and ultimately your dream job. Worst case you’ve just expanded your network of professional contacts, and you never know where that might lead!