There are steps you should take before, during, and after the virtual job fair (https://www.corporategray.com/jobfairs) that will help you get the most out of your participation and lead to better opportunities.
Careful preparation is vital to attending any job fair, and a virtual event is no exception. Prior planning and research will help ensure that you meet with the recruiters who are most relevant to your job search and ensure that those conversations are efficient and meaningful.
Before the event
Register in advance: Registering in advance gives you early access to the company booths so you can start your research and preparation. Fill out your registration information completely and upload your resume. Typically, recruiters will have access to your information before, during and after the event. When attending a Corporate Gray Virtual Job Fair, the sooner you register, the sooner the participating recruiters can access your resume and invite you to meet with them.
Prepare your account: Login to the virtual platform after registration to prepare your account. Add your headshot photo and test your video if those are options. Having your photo uploaded to your account will help you make a more personal connection with the recruiter during a text chat. If the platform allows for video chats, prepare by testing your video ahead of time by using the device and browser you plan to use during the event. In general, Google Chrome is recommended.
Research the companies: Once you are registered, you can access the event lobby. From the lobby you can visit the booths and research the attending companies. Browse the company information and their job opportunities to find jobs aligned with your skills and interests so you can bring up these specific positions when chatting with the recruiters.
Use other resources, such as LinkedIn, the company websites, and sites like Glassdoor.com, to learn as much as possible about the companies and their job openings. Jot down questions you want to ask recruiters during your chat sessions.
Prepare questions and answers: Give careful thought to the questions recruiters will likely ask you and prepare your answers in a Microsoft Word document for reference during the conversations. If in a text chat, you can “copy and paste” your prepared answers into the text box, as appropriate. If in a video chat, you will feel more confident having your answers as a handy reminder but try not to appear to be reading from your prepared script.
Some questions a recruiter might ask you are: Why are you interested in our company? What do you know about us? What type of work are you seeking? Which of your skills are you most interested in leveraging? How would you characterize your leadership style? What are your salary requirements? When are you available to start work?
Articulate what you are looking for, highlight your skills, and explain why you are a good match for their company. Keep your answers short and to the point, as you will not have time to give lengthy answers during brief conversations.
During the event
Visit booths: Login to the event lobby as early as possible to give yourself maximum time in the event. As you visit each company’s booth, notice if you can participate in a general booth discussion, view the company representatives who are in attendance, and enter a conversation queue. If the line is long, you may want to leave your resume and a note for company representatives to view later.
Enter conversation queues: If there is a long wait time for the queues, do not let that stop you from entering a queue. You can enter and wait in multiple queues at the same time, so explore each booth and enter a queue for each company in which you have interest.
When a recruiter is available, you will receive a notification dialog and audible alert to accept the next conversation. While you are in a conversation, your position in the other queues will be held for you.
Start networking: The one-on-one interview sessions are usually text chats, like instant messaging, but depending on the platform they can also be video interviews. These interactions allow you to interview with the company representatives via text chat or video, so be ready for either. During the conversation, you might be able to view the recruiter’s profile and see how your profile looks to the recruiter. If you do not see the recruiter’s email address, ask them for it during the conversation, so that you can follow-up with them later.
Take notes: After each conversation, write down any pertinent information that will help you remember the key points of your conversation, including the recruiter’s name and contact information. This will be useful in jogging your memory later when following-up after the event.
After the event
Follow-up with Recruiters: Review the connections you made during the event and follow-up with them. Some virtual platforms will give you access to the recruiter’s information and the text chat transcripts after the event has ended. If you had asked them for their contact information during the interview, it will be in the transcript. If not, find them on LinkedIn and continue the conversation there.
Remember to register early and start preparing right away to make the most of the online networking opportunity that the virtual job fair offers! Use these tips to attend the next Corporate Gray Virtual Military-Friendly Job Fair that will be held on May 21, 2021 – See who is coming here: https://www.corporategray.com/jobfairs/431 and register today!
The sharing of any non-VA information does not constitute an endorsement of products and services on the part of VA.
Carl S. Savino writes for Corporate Gray.