Careful preparation is important before attending any job fair, and a virtual event is no exception. Prior planning and research will help ensure you meet with the recruiters most relevant to your job search and help you make the most of those conversations.
The process is outlined below with tips on what to do before, during, and after the virtual event…
BEFORE THE EVENT
- Register in advance –
Registering in advance gives you early access to the company booths so you can start your research and preparation. Fill out your registration information completely, and upload your photo and resume if it’s an option. Typically recruiters will have access to your information during and after the event.
- Prepare for the event –
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!
Once you’re registered you’ll be given access to the event lobby. From there you can visit the booths and research the attending companies in preparation for meeting with them. Browse the company information and their job opportunities to find jobs you are qualified for and interested in so you can bring up these specific positions when chatting with the recruiters.
Use other resources to gain information about those companies and their job openings, such as LinkedIn, the company’s website, and other sites such as GlassDoor.com and Manta.com to learn as much as possible. Jot down questions you have about companies that you can ask during the online chats.
Give careful thought to the questions recruiters will likely ask you, 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, as you won’t have time to type lengthy answers during the chats. If you’re a slow typist, you could cut and paste your prepared answers into the text chat box as appropriate.
DURING THE EVENT
- Join a booth –
Go to the event lobby using the same link you were given after registering. In the lobby you’ll typically be able to see the expected wait time for each booth and the number of recruiters online for each company.
Join a booth to be put in a queue to chat with a recruiter (if there’s a wait for that booth). You can wait to chat in multiple booths at once, and you will be placed in the first available chat. Once you are in a chat, your position in the other booths will be held while you are chatting.
- Start networking –
When a recruiter is available, you will be immediately matched for a brief 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!
- Take notes on the conversation –
After each chat, write down any pertinent information that will help you best remember that conversation, including the recruiter’s name. This information will be useful in jogging your memory when following-up after the event.
AFTER THE EVENT
- Follow-up with recruiters –
Review the connections you made during the event and follow-up with them. Some virtual platforms will give you access to the recruiter’s information and the chat transcripts after the event has ended. 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.
Remember to register early and start your preparation right away to make the most of the networking opportunity that a virtual job fair offers!
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