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Getting dressed, leaving home well before time, finding parking, running to the career fair. Does that ring a bell? That was the norm for job seekers before COVID-19.
What if we told you that now you can get that first interview, meet with recruiters, and explore multiple roles and functions in one organization and you never have to leave your sofa?
Yes, you can explore multiple suitable roles and vacancies in one organization all in one day, all from the comfort of your home.
Virtual career fairs have made this dream a reality. Career experts claim 80% of recruiting will be virtual for the foreseeable future. So, time to pull up your socks and put your best foot forward at virtual career fairs.
Here we want to impart some knowledge on how to start conversations and build a strong foothold in a virtual career fair.
When you are stepping into a virtual career fair make sure to research the organization. When we say research we don’t just mean skimming through the “About Us” page of their website. It means diving into the company mission and vision, understanding company values. Even going through their products and services, developing a deep understanding of them. Moreover, go through their social media channels to see the type of content they are pushing.
Employers also add relevant resources to their exhibit booths, so go through them in detail to get a clear understanding of what they are about, and what they are looking for in an employee.
Comprehensive research will help you frame your questions for the Q&A sessions after webinars and presentations. Moreover, they will help you answer interview questions in a way that is relevant to the respective employers.
You can go a step further and look up LinkedIn profiles of the hiring managers or representatives expected to be at the virtual exhibit booths. This will help you form a connection with them, and will aid you in networking around the virtual career fair.
Golden rule: Go in after you have done your homework.
Actively listen. Ask questions.
This is how you attract attention. Prepare a list of questions for each session. Pay attention to speakers and the topics they are addressing in webinars. A list of questions will help you in case one or more of the questions is answered early on. You can get noticed by being an active participant. Thus, delivering a positive impression with the employers.
Incase the webinar sessions require video, maintain eye contact and smile. Keep your environment distraction free so you can wholeheartedly give the webinar your complete attention.
Be prepared with your resume and cover letter. Know what you have to say. Practice your introduction and chart out exactly what you are going to say, how you are going to start conversations and which questions you want to ask. You will avoid fumbling this way. Plus, if you are prepared you will be confident in approaching employers and starting conversations.
Employers can quickly search resumes that are most relevant to them via an in-built search tool that helps them filter out candidates most suited to them. So don’t forget to add in relevant details about your work experience and education.
The virtual career fair usually includes a networking lounge. Go spend time there reaching out to potential employers across different media both within the platform and through other channels, such as social media.
Initiate conversations. Take charge.
Book 1:1 chats with booth reps via the meeting scheduler, and reserve a slot for yourself early on in the virtual career fair. You can also join group chats hosted by the employer and see how conversations are developing. Get noticed by participating in ice-breaking sessions organized by the host. Contribute in the on-going discussions with your research and definitive arguments. Again, prepare what you have to say to lock in a great first impression.
Reach out to employers and organizations representatives at the booth. Again, with your research done and questions prepared you can initiate conversations, ask questions, and send your resume. Get details about the vacancies you are interested in.
Make sure to get the employers and representatives contact details and after the event reach out to them. This is how you initiate post-event conversations, by simply thanking them. This aids you in developing relationships within the industry. Employers see forthcoming and enthusiastic individuals, it brings you to the top of mind when making decisions regarding open positions.
The future is virtual career fairs thanks to the pandemic. Companies are embracing them as the norm, as a staple in hiring candidates. So, the sooner you learn how to start conversations and make lasting impressions in a virtual career fair, the better. It is not just optional, but a necessity as the world moves on, people looking for jobs must adapt to this new world order.
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