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Posted on 02/25/2022

Virtual Job Fairs

Virtual job fairs can be a crucial part of the job search process. Not only can it help to connect you to the right people who might be in a position to offer you the opportunity of a lifetime, but it can also expand your spheres of understanding in terms of a career or role that is best suited for you.

With many event planners going virtual, now is the perfect time to learn to understand virtual job fairs and how you can use them to your advantage.

What is a virtual job fair?

A virtual job fair is a web-based informative session whereby recruiters and employable individuals come together. 

It is common for people to be exposed to career fairs at educational institutions such as schools, colleges, and universities. With the pivot to virtual and hybrid events over the past few years, job fairs have made the shift, too, making them more accessible to a broader audience.

How does a virtual job fair work?

Attendees would usually have to sign up for the virtual job fair, including their professional experience in the industry and job title. 

Sometimes recruiters would also ask about salary expectations and desired role, giving them the necessary insight into whether there would be a match between the potential candidate and the roles they are recruiting for.

What to expect at a virtual job fair?

Once you enter the link sent to you after you’ve registered, you can typically select the virtual room or the session you would like to attend. 

Virtual job fairs, if organized by a large independent company, usually start with an opening speech from key players at the company to give you an overall sense of the company’s culture and values. 

Once the tone has been established, there may be various breakout sessions according to the different departments within the company.

Suppose the virtual job fair is organized by an external events management company with multiple companies and organizations. In that case, they may start by briefly introducing the companies exhibiting at the job fair and the platform, highlighting the features they deem necessary to make the most out of your experience. 

Advantages of attending a virtual job fair

Employee insight

Participating in a virtual job fair can be helpful as you can get a firsthand account of the company culture from current employees. They will tell you whether the company is more laidback or high-pressure, what type of hours they work, or detail the company perks.

It is essential to do your homework on the company and go in with any questions or doubts you may have regarding the role or the company.

Resume hacks

Aside from connecting with specific companies, you also have the opportunity to chat with recruitment personnel who will give you insight into your CV. 

In some cases, job fairs might include sessions and workshops on resume writing, letting you in on industry secrets that might assist you in landing that dream job.

Networking opportunities

For the sake of realism, you might not land the job you want right away. At the same time, you might meet people from companies that could potentially catch your eye or other attendees who might have sparked your interest in the chat.

Get to know the other attendees or look up company representatives on LinkedIn after the career fair is over. You never know what the future may hold.

How to prepare for a virtual job fair

Once you decide to attend a virtual job fair, treat it as a job interview. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a virtual job fair.

Research, research, research

Make a list of some of the key players of the event, or find some information on the people who will be hosting the job fair. 

Find out about the companies or organizations participating at the virtual job fair and keep some key facts or figures handy. 

Showing that you came prepared will help you stand out from the crowd.

Engage

Hosts usually do their best to ensure that attendees are engaging with them at virtual events. They do this by reading comments and questions, so the more you comment with insightful contributions, the more likely you will have them read your input and the more likely the company representative will remember you.

Be prepared

Having your wits about the company will set you apart, but do the same for and about yourself. 

Have an up-to-date resume on hand and prepare your professional introduction. Go over dates and details and be prepared to answer any questions related to your professional experience. 

Sometimes recruiters are ready for applicants to apply to jobs on the spot, and in that case, you want to stand out from the rest.

Dress for the job you want

We all are familiar with this saying, but many overlook this aspect of virtual events. As much as you may enjoy working from home in your pajamas, in this case, you want to dress professionally. 

Even if it’s just for the head-to-shoulder shot, you might not be on-camera at the event, but be prepared just in case you are.

Choose an ideal location

Be sure to join the job fair in a quiet and clean space. Prepare your area and make sure that there are no distractions. 

You don’t want a potential employer to think that you are a slob because of the dirty laundry behind you. 

Choose a space with good natural light, a clean and clear backdrop, and no disturbing noise in the background.

End off strong

Once you have introduced yourself, made your professional intentions clear, and engaged with the host or recruiter, ask for the next steps and contact details.

If you want to put your best foot forward and show them that you are eager for a role within their company or organization, you can pop them an email the following day thanking them for the opportunity. 

Remember, you want to leave a lasting impression, and this is a great way to do so.

Are virtual career fairs worth it?

Virtual job fairs are beneficial for busy professionals as you can join the job fair from anywhere. Instead of running from the office to get to the venue sweaty and nervous, you can slip in a session in your lunch break or from the comfort of your own home.

Virtual career fairs allow you to skip the queues to speak to company representatives and recruiters. You can make yourself known through the virtual event platform’s engagement tools like Q&A sections or through the chat.

You can ask your burning questions, get industry insight and advice that you may need to expedite the application process. You can even leverage answers from other attendees’ questions.

For businesses, career fairs allow you to rejuvenate a new talent pool. You might not have a particular vacancy right now, but perhaps later down the line, an applicant might be the perfect fit for a role that is yet to become available.

How to host a virtual job fair?

Many event professionals who are in the process of planning a virtual job fair go with a webinar format for their virtual job fairs. Webinars are the perfect format for educational sessions like this.

6 Steps to host a virtual job fair

1. Strategise

Before making any decisions about your virtual job fair, strategize the main objective. 

Make a list of all the must-haves and nice-to-haves to help you prioritize what you need for the event. 

Think about:

  • The number of people you would like to attract to your event, 
  • The staff you would need to moderate sessions, 
  • The speakers you will need, 
  • The resources you will need, including software 
  • Marketing plans
  • Your budget

2. Research virtual job fair platforms

Take some time to look around and see what is available on the market. Ask other event planners who have planned virtual job fairs for recommendations and tips on what to look out for and which features may be necessary for your event.

Standard features that are usually used for virtual job fairs are:
  • Chat functions
  • Live studio or high-quality video streaming capabilities
  • Space to store or share documents
  • Screensharing options
  • Branded booths
  • White-label software
  • Breakout rooms
  • Networking options

3. Choose a platform

Once you have a plan and your objectives, you can start selecting a platform. Many event planners start with a platform and then plan their event around the platform’s capabilities.

But virtual event planners advise doing it the other way around. Plan your event and then choose the platform that is most likely to yield results for you and your event.

4. Reach out to potential speakers, exhibitors, and event staff

You want your event to be well-planned out, with timelines and proposed programs at this point of the process. 

When you approach potential exhibitors, you want to explain the details of the virtual job fair to them without hesitation.

5. Market the event

Once you have your speakers and exhibitors booked, you can start getting the word out by promoting your event. 

Share all promotional material with your exhibitors and speakers to take full advantage of their audience.

6. Keep attendees in the loop

After you have received signups, make sure to keep your attendees updated with everything they need to know to get the best out of your virtual job fair. 

For instance, if your preferred platform works better on Chrome than any other browser, or if they need to have their resumes handy, let them know. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, the world of work is ever-evolving, and we are currently at the intermediary point of the transition. 

Virtual job fairs are the digital hiring solution that benefits companies and organizations. It is cost-effective and introduces you to a new pool of talent, while job seekers are at an advantage, too, as virtual job fairs are more convenient and accessible to people who may not be able to attend in person.

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