Over the last two years, we’ve all become well acquainted with virtual events replacing in-person meetings.
When videoconferencing platforms became a go-to for schools hosting classes, families hosting gatherings, and communities of all kinds trying to stay connected, our relationships with these virtual event platforms changed.
In that same vein, virtual career fairs are becoming more common. Job seekers throughout the world have used phone and video calls more often to interact with recruiters and hiring managers. While it has been a difficult pivot for many, it has also become an interesting opportunity for professionals looking to connect with a wider variety of companies. For those who want to build a network and meet leaders from companies outside the city they live in, events like virtual career fairs have been a welcome change too.
Is the process of preparing for a virtual professional event the same as how you would prepare for an in-person event? In some ways yes, others no. Let’s explore our five best tips to set you up for success at a virtual career fair.
Step 1: Register and set up your event profile.
Make sure to review the sign-up page in detail, since many of these events ask attendees to fill out a more comprehensive profile. This is a good thing – it lets recruiters and company leaders in attendance see your experience and get to know you ahead of time!
Many virtual career fairs allow you to add a photo and complete open fields such as contact information, employment information, social media profiles, career goals, or personal interests.
In the virtual environment, it can be harder to show the full picture of who you are compared to in-person events. Don’t miss an opportunity to share your story.
Step 2: Identify your personal job search goals.
The start of your job hunt is the best time to do some soul-searching professionally. Before digging into the companies attending the event and what they have to offer you, give some thought to your must-haves at this stage of your career!
- Are you open to contract or direct-hire roles, or both?
- What are your salary and benefits expectations and the range you’re looking to fit in?
- Are you looking for onsite, hybrid, or remote work opportunities?
- If remote is an option, are you open to working across time zones?
Set your own path. From there, you can go to events like virtual career fairs and seek out roles that fulfill your career desires.
If you’re open to hearing about new job opportunities, LinkedIn has tools for professionals to show they’re open to connecting with hiring managers and recruiters! Watch below for a quick introduction to the #OpenToWork feature.
Step 3: Give your resume a refresh.
Especially if you’re actively job searching, you’ll want to go into the event with a polished resume ready to hand off to recruiters and hiring managers. They may have open roles to present right at the virtual career fair. This is your first time meeting many of those individuals, but it never hurts to be ready should the right opportunity arise!
And if you are just getting started on the search, update as much information as you can beforehand. Recruiters at the event may be willing to share resume advice that will get you ready to apply for your dream job when it’s time to do so.
Step 4: Chart your plan for the event.
If you don’t know what success looks like to you for attending an event like a virtual career fair, you won’t be in a position to get the most out of that event. It will be hard to connect with all the tens or hundreds of employers attending online. Doing your due diligence beforehand ensures you’ll spend your time talking with the people in the best position to help you.
- What type of jobs does each company have to offer?
- What industry does each company serve?
- Do you know anyone currently working at any of the companies attending?
- Do the missions and core values of any of these companies especially resonate with you?
Step 5: Get your technology ready for the event.
For in-person career fairs, attendance is as easy as commuting to your destination and walking in the door. Virtual career fairs can take place on one of several platforms, each with different capabilities and layouts from the next, and that can be confusing for attendees!
Just like you’d give yourself ten minutes of buffer time in case of traffic to an in-person event, give yourself ten minutes of buffer time to address tech issues before a virtual event.
- Be cognizant of your video background and lighting and how that affects your presentation.
- If you’re using a wireless headset or earphones for audio, make sure they’re charged and ready.
- Log on early to make sure you can access the platform and address any potential connection issues.
- Check your audio and video settings, and make sure you know how to turn those on or off as needed.
Put Your Best Foot Forward at Virtual Career Fairs
When it comes down to it, virtual career fairs offer the same promise and opportunity for your growth that an in-person career fair would! With the right strategy and preparation, you’ll be able to meet with the best employers for you and feel confident in how you spend your time.
At Lighthouse Technology Services, we specialize in guiding mid- to high-level technology professionals to their next exciting role. Check out our job board to see today’s open roles or sign up for job alerts. We look forward to meeting you!