Employers are fully engaged in virtual recruiting practices to fill their hiring needs during these unprecedented times.  Social distancing constraints have pre-empted the traditional job fair, so employers are turning to virtual job fairs to meet potential candidates.  

If you’ve never attended a virtual job fair, fear not.  It’s like a traditional job fair and in some ways even better.

Why Virtual Job Fairs Are Better

  • At a virtual job fair, you’ll meet with different employers but without having to deal with crushing crowds. Once an employer engages you in a chat the door is open to making a great first impression. 
  • Anyone can attend a virtual career fair from anywhere.  If you’re looking to change jobs it can be hard to get off from work to attend a traditional job fair.  Thinking of relocating?  You won’t incur the travel expenses to attend an on-site event.  
  • At a virtual job fair, you’ll meet a member of the recruiting team. When you pre-register you’ll be able to get your resume directly into the hands of the hiring managers you want to meet.
  • During a virtual job fair, you’ll chat live with recruiters.  Make a good impression and you might be able to turn a virtual chat into a phone interview or an interview on the spot.   
  • Employers in virtual career fairs are usually more engaging. Once you “enter” their virtual room you’ll be greeted by an employer eager to talk to potential candidates like yourself.  

Getting ready to attend a virtual job fair requires all the same preparation and focus you use when attending a traditional job fair and more!  Indicators suggest the virtual job fair trend is here to stay, so you need to adapt your job fair behaviors for the new normal. Adopt these virtual job fair habits to ensure your success.

Research the Companies

Don’t plan to wing it if you want employers to take you seriously.  Impress them with your industry knowledge and have questions ready for your virtual chat.

Check Your Technology

Make sure your internet or Wi-Fi connections are solid and that your equipment has a camera in case an employer would like to speak with you face to face.  

Set the Stage

While you can attend a virtual job fair from anywhere, your first option should be to log in from your home office.  Attending via cell phone won’t have the same quality or professionalism as your home computer.

Dress for Success

Your goal is to turn an initial virtual chat into an interview, so you need to be ready if the recruiter wants to switch to a face to face conversation.  Dress professionally and be mindful of your surroundings.  You don’t want your half-eaten lunch and laundry pile captured by the camera.  

Practice, Practice, Practice

You don’t want your virtual or video chat to be derailed by tech glitches, nerves, or excessive “ums”.  Develop your pitch, have your resume available, and practice talking to the camera, not the screen, to hold eye contact with the employer and show your interest and enthusiasm.  

Looking for a virtual job fair? 

Check out social media postings, event sites, area chambers of commerce websites and industry associations, and regional government-run career centers.  Individual employers will also host their own virtual job fair, especially when seeking out under-represented groups such as veterans or women in tech, or when they are recruiting for specific roles such as nurses. 

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