Are you nervous about attending your first virtual job fair? Use this guide to impress employers and land your next job.
The job world has changed. Most jobs, meetings, and events are now virtual, so it’s no surprise that job fairs are also primarily online. Although virtual job fairs may sound intimidating, they are a great way to explore employment opportunities and companies in your area—and they give you great interview practice!
So, what can you do to land your next job at a virtual job fair? The key takeaway is this: Treat a virtual job fair the same way you would an in-person job fair. Be professional, be prepared, and be confident. Use these guidelines to stand out and land your next job.
Virtual Job Fair Basics
First, let’s go over some basic tips for virtual job fair preparation.
Register early (and often!)
Virtual job fairs are a great way to make connections in a variety of industries. Most cities provide several opportunities to attend job fairs, so we suggest attending more than one. You’ll meet connections that can help build your professional network as you search for your next career. It just takes one good connection to help get your foot in the door! You’ll also get great practice interviewing with a variety of recruiters and employers. Remember to register for the job fairs ahead of time so you can reserve one-on-one interview times with employers. Knowing your schedule will make this experience less stressful.
Update and upload your resume
If you haven’t updated your resume in a while, now is the time! Make sure your most recent job experience is listed—employers want to know about your work history. Use powerful words and phrases to emphasize your accomplishments and describe specific results. Most virtual job fairs allow you to upload your resume, portfolio, and website links beforehand, so consider doing this if it applies to your specific job fair. Always upload your resume as a PDF; this will prevent formatting errors when employers download your file.
Pro Tip: This is also a good time to update your professional networking profiles to match your resume. Add any recent work experience and indicate on your profile that you are seeking employment. This will help employers find you after the fair.
Research the companies who are attending
Virtual job fairs will provide a list of the companies that are attending the event. Select companies you want to talk with and research them. Get to know their history, values, and culture, and show your knowledge during the interview. Companies will be impressed that you’ve done your research—it shows your interest in the company and your commitment to getting a job.
Prepare talking points
Remember to take these interviews seriously, even if you’re in the comfort of your own home. Prepare for interviews with examples, experiences, and stories that help to sell your abilities.
Start with your introduction (some call this your “elevator pitch”). Prepare a short pitch that summarizes your professional career up to this point, including some of your most impressive accomplishments and proudest career moments. If you’re a college student or recent graduate, talk about your coursework and work experience as it applies to the job. Be sure to show interest in the company and the position.
Extra interview tips: As the interview goes on, make sure to highlight your experience and knowledge with specific examples and stories. What differentiates you from other job seekers? What skills can you bring to the job? Why should they hire you? These are all great opportunities to convince the employer that you are the perfect one for the job. Smile, be confident, and sell yourself!
Always send thank-you emails to the employers you talked to. Remind the employer who you are, thank them for their time, and tell them again why you’re a perfect fit for the job.
Virtual Etiquette Tips
Now that you know the basics, let’s dive into the technological aspect of the virtual job fair. As we adjust to a more virtual world, it’s important to know what to expect and how to leave the best possible impression on employers.
Dress the part
If you’re attending a virtual job fair, you’ll likely be doing so from home. But just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can look like you’re at home! Make sure you look professional by wearing proper business attire. Remember that it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. We suggest wearing business professional attire rather than business casual attire. Your attire reflects your professionalism and commitment to getting a job. And remember: when you look good, you feel good!
With so many job seekers online at the same time, connectivity issues may occur. It’s important to arrive a few minutes early for each meeting in case of any technical difficulties. If the employer is still with another interviewee, use that time to double-check your settings and ensure everything is working properly. First impressions count, so don’t make employers wait!
Use proper virtual meeting etiquette
In our world of virtual meetings, employers expect a certain meeting etiquette. The same is true for recruiters and companies looking to hire, so make sure you stand out among the competition. First, present yourself professionally—wear professional attire and look your best. When we’re at home, we tend to slouch at our desks, so check your posture! Be sure your background is tidy and not distracting. Use a good light source so employers can see you properly, and try to minimize distracting background noises. Most importantly, check that your WiFi and computer are working properly. Test your camera, microphone, and headphones ahead of time so you don’t experience any technical difficulties during the job fair. Lastly, speak clearly and confidently. Since employers aren’t meeting you in person, they need to get a good read of your personality and excitement. This is the time to show them!
Pro Tip: If your home WiFi is unreliable, consider visiting a library, shared office, or other quiet space that has free WiFi. If possible, rent a private room beforehand to minimize distractions. Just make sure you feel comfortable and confident in this space!
Don’t be intimidated by virtual job fairs. With proper preparation, etiquette, and confidence, you can impress any employer and land your next job. Good luck!
You can search for upcoming virtual job fairs at https://www.localwork.com/job-fairs