Attending online job fairs is an excellent opportunity to network with employers that hire remote employees. It is also an opportunity to learn exactly what hiring managers are seeking in online workers. These events can be a little hard to adjust to if you are used to face-to-face interactions.
What is an Online Job Fair:
Online job fairs take place virtually. Yes, that is right, these events occur in the comfort of your home. Employers set up “booths” with information about their company, employment opportunities, career paths, and culture. Depending on the fair, job seekers can engage with employers in chat rooms and some offer video and voice options.
This post will help you prepare and make the most of an online networking opportunity such as job fairs in just six steps.
1) Test Your Equipment. Nothing creates more anxiety than failing equipment. Try to check your technology as soon as you get access to the event. I suggest testing your connection speed and even consider hardwiring your computer to your connection instead of using wifi. If your internet is slow, find another location to attend the fair You will also need to see what downloads such as java and flash you need to complete to make sure your system is ready to go. Some events will require you to be on camera and use your microphone to speak with employers. If this is the case for you, test the equipment out beforehand.
2) Do Your Research. To be successful at a remote job fair you need to be extremely prepared. You need to research employers that are expected to attend the event, know what positions they are hiring for and learn about their companies. Successful job seekers take this step seriously. You need to know the industry well and be able to talk the language. If you don't look and act prepared, employers will not take you seriously.
3) Develop an Effective Resume. Many remote job fairs will ask you to upload a resume before the event. You should upload a resume but also consider having tailored resumes created for each job and employer you researched before the event. If you researched well in step 2, you should have enough information to help you tailor your resume effectively.
4) Prepare for an Interview. Yes, this is a job fair, but if you did steps 1-3, an employer might ask to speak with you and conduct an interview onsite. You should prepare for this situation. Since this is an online event, you can have notes and an outline to guide you with interviewing. Practice typical interview questions but also prep yourself for different interview questions. The more you prepare, the better you will be able to think under pressure.
5) Dress and Act the Part. Regardless if the virtual job fair requires video chats with employers, you should dress the part. An employer may decide they want to conduct a video call with on the spot after the fair. Dressing like a professional will keep you in interview and networking mode so that you can win recruiters over. Yes, this means saying no to your loungewear for the day. Also, you will want to write in a professional way to employers. Avoid using emoticons, gifs, incorrect grammar and casual talk. Remember to make sure your home is in order. If a recruiter wants to video chat with you, you don’t want them to see clothes all over the place. Before jumping on camera with an employer turn on your camera with just yourself and look at your background. Put items away that looks messy or even unprofessional. You might even consider adding some beautiful decor that is pleasant to the eye.
6) Have a notepad. You are attending an online job fair, so it is easy to take notes. I suggest that you keep notes of jobs you want to apply to and things that stand out about companies. As you talk to employers, write down anything that you need to remember. You should also note anything you have in common with the employer. Maybe you both went to the same high school. This information is something you can reference in a thank you letter later.
Online job fairs are what you make them. If you want to be successful and you need to be professional and take the steps required for prepare for the event. Come with a plan and leave with results. Employers want to see you stand out and do more than the average job seeker.
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