6 Steps and Tips for Attending a Virtual Job Fair

The Corporate Gray/MOAA Virtual Military Job Fairs use online text conversations to bring employers and job seekers together in a convenient and efficient manner. By attending these events you can:
–  Research attending companies and view their job opportunities
–  Meet with company recruiters (via text chats)
–  Take notes on your conversations
–  Follow-up with your connections after the event

In preparation for speaking at Walden University’s Career Services webinar on Job Search Strategies for Veterans, I outlined the following steps to attending a Corporate Gray/MOAA Virtual Military Job Fair, and I’ve included tips to help you make the most of the event:

BEFORE THE EVENT
1.  Register for the Event
–  Go to www.CorporateGray.com/jobfairs and click “Internet” for the virtual event you’ll be attending.
–  There is a video on that page that shows you how the virtual event works, and the Register button takes you to the Brazen Careerist registration page.
–  Fill out the custom information, and upload your photo and resume. Recruiters will have access to your information during and after the event. Include your resume and photo to increase your visibility to recruiters.

2.  Prepare for the event
– Once you’re registered you’ll be given a link to the event lobby.  Enter the event lobby at any time prior to the event to research companies in preparation for meeting with them.
–  The event lobby shows the booths of the attending employers. Click “View” on any booth to see the company information and browse their job opportunities.

** Preparation for a virtual event is similar to that of a traditional job fair, and it is crucial since the conversations are short and to the point! **

–  Find jobs you are qualified for and interested in so you can bring up these specific jobs when chatting with the recruiters.
–  Prioritize which companies you want to engage with during the event.
–  Use other resources to gain information about those companies and their job openings — Linkedin, the company’s website, and other sites such as GlassDoor.com and Manta.com to learn as much as possible.
–  Give careful thought to the questions recruiters will likely ask, and prepare the answers in a Word document that you can refer to during the conversations. Some possible questions are:
Why are you interested in our company?
What do you know about us?
What type of work are you seeking?
Which of your skills are you most interested in leveraging?
How would you characterize your leadership style?
What are your salary requirements?
When are you available to start work?

–  Articulate what you are looking for, what your skills are, and why you are a match for their company.
–  Keep your answers short and to the point (1-2 sentences).
–  If you’re a very slow typist, you could cut and paste your prepared answers into the text chat box as appropriate.

DURING THE EVENT
3.  Join a Booth
– Go to the event lobby using the same link you were given after registering.
–  In the lobby you’ll see the expected wait time for each booth and the number of recruiters online for each company.
–  Click “Join” to be put in a queue to chat with a recruiter (if there’s a wait for that booth). You can get in multiple lines at once, and you will be connected to a recruiter as they become available. Your place in line with other booths will be saved as you chat.

4.  Start Networking
–  When a recruiter is available, you will be immediately matched for a 7-minute text-based conversation. This is text-only, with no video or audio, so be ready to type.
–  Don’t wait for the recruiter to start chatting, introduce yourself right away!

5.  Rate the Conversation
–  After each chat, you’ll be prompted to rate how you think the conversation went and make any notes that will help you best remember that conversation. This information is for your eyes only.

AFTER THE EVENT
6.  Follow-up with recruiters
–  Your “Dashboard” is your event summary where you can review the connections you made during the event and follow-up with them.
–  For each conversation, you can browse the recruiter’s information and the entire chat transcript.
–  Follow-up with them from your Dashboard. If you had asked them for contact information during the chat it will be in the transcript. If not, look them up on Linkedin and continue the conversation there.

Special thanks to Denise Pranke at Walden University’s Career Services for inviting me to speak at their Job Search Strategies for Veterans webinar presented for their military students.

Related Articles
Tips Video for the Corporate Gray/Brazen Careerist Virtual Job Fairs
How Does a Virtual Military Career Fair Work? (video)

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