As a job seeker, you’re always looking for ways to increase your chances of getting hired. One way to help is to attend a Virtual Job Fair. This type of job fair is becoming increasingly popular because it has the potential to be convenient and cost-effective for both recruiters and candidates.
In this article, we break down what a virtual job fair is, how it works, and why it’s worth considering if you want to find a new position in the near future!
How does a virtual job fair work?
There are no exact numbers on how prevalent virtual job fairs have become, but Cielo Talent has reported that 67% of businesses have successfully interviewed, offered, and onboarded virtually.1
What this means is that you should expect to find a lot of virtual job fairs if you are looking for new positions. The exact way they work will vary depending on the company, but here’s an example: Let’s say there is a finance-related position at your company that needs filling. Rather than bringing in everyone who applies, you decide to host a virtual job fair.
Post the position on your company’s website and then send out an email with information about how to access the video conference (you can also do this through social media like LinkedIn).
Now, you’ll invite candidates in that field asking them if they would be interested in attending. If they agree, you will give them access to the virtual job fair. When they log in, there will be a number of interviewers ready to chat with qualified candidates about the position and their skills.
Benefits of a Virtual Career Fair
Save time and money
Hiring managers estimate that the average cost to hire an employee is $4000. That means if your company can find all their new employees at one event, it would be worth it financially.
And while that’s not always possible, you could attend an event that’s free or relatively affordable.
Expand your network
The biggest benefit of attending a virtual career fair is the potential to meet new people in interesting positions. You can make connections with recruiters who are looking for someone exactly like you! Even if they’re not hiring right now, it ‘s a sure fire way to get on their radar if something opens up down the line.
Another great thing about virtual career fairs is that they are convenient and accessible from anywhere . If you have an internet connection, you can attend at any time of day or night. This means it’s easy for busy professionals to stay involved with new opportunities.
8 Tips for attending a virtual career fair
Just like with an offline job fair, you don’t necessarily need to have any specific experience or qualifications to attend a virtual career fair. However, there are some things that will help your candidacy:
Have your resume ready
You never know when an interviewer might ask for it! Make sure you have it stored in a place where you can easily access it.
Find a quiet space with good lighting and make sure everything is charged, especially your laptop. If possible, try to find out ahead of time what the best setup will be for your computer during the conference call.
It’s easy for it to feel like an interview over Skype, but that means your body language matters even more than usual. Make sure you are looking into the camera when answering questions.
Think of at least three questions you can ask about the company and their hiring process. This will help show that you really want to work there!
The more time you spend preparing for the event and learning about different hiring managers, the more likely it is that you will meet one who’s looking for someone just like you. You should also be prepared to answer some basic questions about yourself so your interviewer knows how best to position you in front of other employers at the event.
It’s essential that you can communicate effectively during a video conference. If you aren’t sure how to use the technology, practice ahead of time so that your presentation is smooth and professional.
A virtual career fair can be a great way to meet new recruiters, search for new jobs or employers, and decide whether it’s time to find a new online job. However, you should be ready to make an impression, no matter what kind of industry you’re in.
Of course, the most important thing is that you show up prepared and positive. Employers want team members who are enthusiastic about their work, so bring your best self to the virtual career fair!
Prepare for next time
Take note of what went well and how you performed, then use that information to prepare even better the next time.
What can I expect from a virtual job fair?
Virtual career fairs will vary depending on the company and how they decide to host them. Some companies may require pre-registration, while others might be more informal.
However, the basic idea is that employers post jobs, and then recruiters connect with candidates through video conferencing software like Skype or Google Hangouts.
Usually, there are a few different interviewers at the event who will give their pitches to candidates about why they should work for them.
What are you expected to do at a virtual job fair?
There is not an exact script for what happens during one of these events (although some recruiters may use something similar), but you can expect to have several different interviewers ask about your experience, how it qualifies you for the specific role in question, and more.
They may also want to know if there are any gaps between jobs or why someone is leaving their current position.
Where should I look?
Virtual career fairs can be a little more challenging than in-person events because it’s harder to make eye contact with everyone who is speaking.
Focus on looking at the person who is speaking; even if you can’t see them, they’ll be able to tell and will appreciate your attentiveness. It’s also good to try and look at the other interviewers every so often so it doesn’t seem like you are only focused on one person throughout the conversation.
What should I do before a virtual job fair?
There are definitely things that jobseekers can do ahead of time to make the most of a virtual job fair. You’ll need to register for the virtual event through a recruiting platform and enter your profile and resume.
Research the company
You should research what company is hosting it (you may be able to find this on their website).
Research the interviewer
If possible, look into who will be interviewing you. You’ll want to know as much about them as possible before they start asking questions during the virtual job fair.
Research the role
You should also do some research on the specific role and what you’ll be expected to know if hired (you can find this on LinkedIn, for example).
Check your WiFi connection
Speaking of which, make sure that your internet connection is strong enough to handle a video conference. It’s easy to run into choppy audio or laggy images when not everyone is on a stable connection.
Prepare your questions
It’s also smart to prepare some questions for the interviewer, but don’t ask them until they give you permission (you can find this information during your virtual job fair research).
How do I make the most of my time at a virtual job fair?
When an employer decides to host a virtual job fair, it’s usually because they need to fill a role quickly. You’ll want to make sure that you are not wasting time during the virtual job fair, which means knowing what information recruiters expect from potential hires.
Here is an example of how one might go: The first person may ask about your experience and then immediately switch to asking technical questions about the role. A second interviewer may start by asking about your professional background and then switch into a more in-depth conversation about what you would do if certain situations were to arise on the job.
Is a virtual career fair worth it?
Another important question is whether or not a virtual career fair will be worth your time. Yes, it’s an opportunity to meet new recruiters and employers before potentially interviewing at their office for real. But you may also want to consider how many people are going to the same event as you are (you can find this on LinkedIn).
Virtual career fairs can be an excellent way for recruiters and employers to find the exact type of candidate they’re looking for. However, you should consider whether or not your time will be spent well if you choose this route over other entry routes into the workforce.
Opportunities for internships
One of the biggest benefits of virtual career fairs is that they give recruiters and employers a chance to meet with candidates in real-time rather than needing to schedule an interview at their office, (which can take up a lot of time for both parties).
Another benefit is that employers can see how well you hold yourself during a conversation, what your body language looks like, and if you are a good fit for the company culture. So if there aren’t enough job openings, perhaps there will be opportunities for internships at the virtual hiring event.
How do I answer questions at the virtual job fair?
One way to make sure that you are answering all interviewers’ questions fully (and not rambling) is by taking notes on the conversation. You’ll want to make sure that you don’t miss anything, and if they ask a question while you’re taking notes, then all the better!
Most virtual job fairs will give each person an opportunity to speak after everyone else has had their chance (although it’s possible your interviewer may not do this).
What Should I Bring with Me to a Virtual Job Fair?
Some employers may ask you to bring specific items to the event (such as a hard-copy resume). However, you should make sure that you are not up late before or on time after. Employers will typically provide enough information about what they want to see from their candidates ahead of time, so it is best to be prepared in advance.
It’s also important to remember how audio and video will affect your experience. Make sure that you have a strong internet connection, prepare some questions for the interviewers, and always be ready to answer any question they are able to ask.
Virtual career fair survival tips:
- Research the company that is hosting it.
- Do some research on who you will be speaking with and what they will expect from you. Also, prepare questions for them, but wait until they give permission to ask them first!
- Make sure your internet connection can support video calls (or use a separate device if necessary).
- Make sure that you are not wasting time by asking questions about the role and then immediately switching to technical interview questions (or vice versa). You should wait until they give you permission to ask them first!
- During the conversation, take notes on everything being said to ensure that you don’t miss anything important.
- When speaking with recruiters or employers, make sure that you are concise and clear with your answers.
Why Employers Like Virtual Job Fairs
Employers normally like virtual job fairs because it gives them a chance to read many candidate profiles and meet many people who could potentially be interested in their company without disrupting the daily routine. It also helps employees feel comfortable with each other and get ready for an official interview if necessary.
In the post-pandemic world, with social-distancing, physical job fairs are mostly out of the question. Employers and recruiters must rely on virtual career fairs to find the right person for a role, as well as make sure they hire someone who can handle themselves in difficult situations.
Hosting Virtual Careers Fairs as an Employer
If you’re an employer, then hosting a virtual job fair can be very beneficial to your company. As long as it is done properly, employers may end up hiring the best candidate for them quickly and easily.
However, they should make sure that their employees are ready for interviews (such as any technical questions) before bringing in potential hires. This will make sure that all attendees are on the same level and avoid any awkward situations.
If you have open positions that need to be filled quickly, then virtual job fairs can be an excellent way for employers and recruiters to find the top talent needed for their next hire. Make sure that your employees are ready before bringing in potential candidates, and everything should go as smoothly as the traditional in-person job fairs!
Virtual Career Fairs can be a success for both employers and candidates. They are cost- and time-efficient for everyone and can lead to career successes such as networking, internships, and a dream career.
- The impact of remote working on talent acquisition (no date) Cielotalent.com. Available at: https://www.cielotalent.com/media/1562597/cielo-infographic-impact-of-remote-working-talent-acquisition.pdf