Our Top Tips for Jobseekers to Standout at a Virtual Careers Event
Accessibility, cost savings and convenience to a diverse community of job candidates are a few reasons why some companies, including those employers that work in the Defence & Security space have shifted their efforts to virtual recruiting due to social distancing constraints and current COVID-19 restrictions.
One tool for a virtual recruiter strategy is the virtual career fair, a web-based platform that allows job candidates to attend hiring events from the comfort of their homes. While virtual career fairs are convenient for both the recruiter and the job seeker, these hiring fairs aren’t casual interactions. Job seekers must approach virtual career fairs with the same level of professionalism they would bring to an in-person hiring event.
Here are three tips for job seekers who want to stand out to recruiters during a virtual career fair:
Research Companies Participating in the Virtual Careers Fair
After registration, the first step in preparing for a virtual career fair is researching the participating employers. Researching a company is more than skimming its “About Us” webpage. To thoroughly and effectively research a company, spend time reading press releases, news articles, and LinkedIn posts that mention the employer. As you read these items, note anything that interests you.
To kickstart your research, we recommend finding the answers to these questions:
· What are the company’s mission and values?
· Does the company have a careers page? What are they looking for now?
· Do they have a Recruitment/Talent Acquisition function? If so, who are they?
· Where are they located?
· Who are this company’s clients? What products or services do they offer?
If you can’t find the answer to a question, don’t sweat it. You can ask the recruiter this question during your one-on-one chat. Questions are a great way to convey enthusiasm and to forge a rapport with the recruiter.
Prepare your answers before the Virtual Event
During a virtual career fair, participants engage with recruiters through one-on-one virtual interviews via a standard “chat box.” Each person receives a limited amount of time to speak with the
recruiter, so use your time wisely.
The most effective way to make a good first impression with the recruiter is to have an introduction of your education, skills, and future goals typed, proof-read and ready to go. When it’s your turn
to enter the virtual interview space and the recruiter types “tell me about yourself,” you can copy and paste your elevator pitch into the chat box.
Starting the conversation with a focused approach, you will have more time to connect with the recruiter. You won’t scramble to answer basic questions about your qualifications, and you will be less likely to have typos in your responses.
Turn your new Virtual Connections into Professional Relationships
A virtual career fair is your opportunity to network without traveling, so take advantage of this unique experience by connecting with the recruiter outside of the virtual career fair platform.
During the virtual career fair, remember to ask for each recruiter’s contact information before the conclusion of your interview. Immediately after the event, connect with each recruiter on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to send a personalised message in your connection request.
Finally, we recommend that you send a thank you note via email to each recruiter you interviewed with during the event. In your thank you note, include a brief summary of your conversation, remind them of one key qualification that makes you a good fit for the position, and ask them to keep you informed on the next steps in the hiring process.
Since few candidates take the time to send thank you notes, recruiters advise us this polite gesture is an easy way for you to impress them.
A virtual career fair will never replace the chance to meet with companies and recruiters face to face, but until the pandemic is over they are one of the best chances you have to secure a new job and connect with lots of new potential contacts that can help you. So, please follow our key advice and if you see any of our staff at your next virtual event, then don't forget to send us a virtual wave! Good luck.