Will You Find Your Next Job at a Virtual Career Fair?
Along with many jobs transitioning to virtual, so is the job search process. Virtual job fairs are one component of the search that is gaining even more traction since COVID-19 came along. However, long before the pandemic started, virtual job fairs existed.
While you may not have considered attending a virtual job fair (or even heard of one), now may be the best time to learn about and attend one. There are a surprising number of advantages to virtual career fairs that go beyond social distancing.
Reasons to Attend a Virtual Job Fair
Virtual attendance has become acceptable during the pandemic (encouraged, even). But beyond the obvious reason to attend a virtual job fair right now, they’ve always offered advantages that in-person job fairs just can’t.
- No commute. You don’t have to travel to and from the job fair. Not only does this mean you don’t have to worry about getting stuck or lost, you can spend more time connecting with companies and learning about their openings.
- Not location dependent. Traditional career fairs take place in one location, which may not be convenient or practical for you to get to. Virtual career fairs are accessible to anybody anywhere with an internet connection. In the pre-COVID-19 days, many job fairs took place in large urban areas, so those who didn’t live near those cities may have had difficulty getting to take advantage of the fairs. That’s not an issue when attending a virtual job fair.
- Perfect for introverts (and extroverts). Introverts may find it easier to network via video than in person. But even extroverts will be able to benefit from having all of the advantages of a traditional career fair without some of the key headaches and hassles.
What to Expect at a Virtual Job Fair
Just like an in-person job fair, virtual job fairs allow job seekers to connect with employers and companies with open positions. However, unlike an in-person job fair, many companies at a virtual job fair are looking for candidates who are interested in working remotely.
Job seekers can collect information about remote jobs, compare the work cultures of different companies, and hear different employers explain why they value flexibility in the workplace. Attendees also have the chance to interact directly with specific companies and recruiters at the virtual job fair and even be interviewed using chat features and videoconferencing technology.
Additionally, job seekers can learn about new job opportunities and current openings at top remote-friendly companies, and can even submit their resumes to apply to available jobs.
Standing Out in the Virtual Space
While you may be less aware of the competition when attending a career fair remotely, you still must find ways to leave a good impression with the hiring managers and recruiters who you meet at these virtual events. As in a traditional job search, much of this comes down to the details of research and preparation.
It may feel less formal to interact with employers from your living room, but the stakes are just as high, and it’s important to showcase your professionalism. In other words, just because you can log on to the virtual event from your kitchen table in your favorite t-shirt doesn’t mean you should.
Treat the opportunity to interact with hiring managers just like you would an in-person interview or meeting. Business attire or at least business casual (depending on your industry) is important. A tidy home office is generally a better venue to stage your discussions than other areas of your house that may reveal clutter or even result in unexpected cameos by family members or roommates.
Other essential preparations to ensure that you’ll stand out in a positive way during a virtual career fair are to have done your homework about each company that you plan to connect with or interview for and to doublecheck your computer, your internet connection, and your technology in general before the morning of the fair to troubleshoot any issues.
Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of “stage presence” when using online technology. One of the most common pieces of advice given for video interviews is to be sure that you’re directing your focus at your computer’s camera—at the top of your computer screen—rather than looking straight ahead at documents on your screen. Also, be aware of what you are doing with your body language during the call—avoid being fidgety and distracted, just as you would during an in-person meeting. By paying attention to the details that matter, you can improve your chances of coming out of a virtual career fair with some strong job leads, or even an offer!
Connect With Remote Employers
Virtual job fairs can increase your chances of finding a remote job. However, instead of waiting around for the next virtual career fair, take a look at our job board. Peruse the open jobs posted by employers in search of top candidates who want a virtual job and connect with your next opportunity.
By Robin Madell | July 15, 2020 | Categories: Work Remotely