In this article, you will be learning some very sensitive tips on how to prepare for a virtual career fair successfully.
Those on the hunt for a new job will have no trouble telling you just how infuriating, soul-sapping and demoralizing the process of meeting with recruiters, applying for job openings and attending job fairs can be. In recent times, most of these interviews and careers fairs will be online in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines and keep everyone safe.
There are definitely some benefits to online job fairs including not having to battle a crowd or make a long commute dressed in your best business-casual attire, however, attending these events at home comes with its own set of challenges.
How to Prepare for a Virtual Career Fair
Never fear! Here are our five top tips on how to best prepare yourself for online career fairs and networking events.
Always Be Prepared
The number one thing you have to do before any job fair or online networking event is to prepare yourself. There are five key steps you need to take to prepare yourself.
Firstly you’ll want to make sure you pre-register for the event, especially in 2020 with COVID related job losses making employment even more hotly contested, spaces for these events can be snapped up quickly.
Number two: have your CV and work samples ready to go so that if someone asks to see them you can share them straight away!
Number three: do your research. When you’ve pre-registered you’ll be able to see what employers will be attending the event. Research the company and find out what they do so you’ll be able to ask informed questions when you’re speaking to their representatives.
The final two preparations are all technical. You’ll need to make sure your tech is up to the challenge and have a backup in case your computer or wi-fi fails and then arrive on time to show recruiters your punctuality.
Practice Your Sell
When you boil it down to it’s purest form, job fairs are all about selling yourself. You’ve got a set amount of time in which to make an impression. Recruiters will be meeting with so, so many people throughout a single careers fair so to stand a chance at a job you’ve got to find a way to stand out.
The best way to do this is by practicing your pitch and ways to memorably introduce yourself and pitch your skills and services. Get a friend to help you practice some responses to typical interview questions that seamlessly integrate anecdotes that show you in a favourably light and show off your successes.
Remember the importance of integrating your soft skills into your personal pitch. It’s important to realise that when companies are hiring an individual they aren’t just hiring a set of skills, they’re hiring a human being who will be in their offices day-to-day so it’s important to show off your soft skills. You can also give short presentations showcasing and highlighting your work samples, achievements and skills. Use tools like visually appealing PowerPoint templates to build creative and engaging presentations to make an impact on the recruiters.
Recently, recruiters have been putting a higher value on soft skills than they ever had before. This article from Upskilled reveals that empathy is topping lists as the most sought after soft skill on the market.
So, finding an anecdote in which you did your job and displayed empathy is a great way to sell recruiters on both your technical qualification and soft skills simultaneously! If you’re interested in learning more about interview preparation tactics, you can head here
Dress To Impress
As the adage goes, dress for the job you want not the job you have. In a game where first impressions are everything, it’s more important than ever to dress to impress.
According to Forbes, our first impressions of someone are cemented within the first seven seconds of meeting and within this first meeting, non-verbal cues are four times more impactful than what’s actually being said.
So, make sure you smile, project confidence and do your best to look the part. You don’t have to go full shoulder pads, corporate honcho vibes but looking well put together is important.
That being said, if you’re interested in a prospective job in a creative industry it’s okay to use your outfit to showcase your personality a bit more rather than going fully beige, board room chic.
For online job fairs, another important thing to remember is the fact that more than just your face and outfit are on display.
Try and log into video calls when you’re sitting against a neutral background or, if you have to take a call from a bedroom or a common space, make sure the room is tidy and not cluttered. You don’t have to go full Marie Kondo but make sure your mess is hidden out of frame.
“Any Questions For Us?”
Usually the site for an awkward pause, the “do you have any questions for us?” part of any interaction or job interview is a great way to showcase your personality and get answers that could help you determine if this really is the right job for you.
An opportunity to flip the script and be the one driving an interview is a chance you shouldn’t pass up. Asking what a typical day in the office would be like is a great way to get an idea of the reality of a job while also conjuring the image that you’d fit into said office, seamlessly.
Asking why the job has become available will help you learn whether a company has a high turnover rate (which might indicate an unhappy or unfulfilled staff) or if a company is growing!
A great way to pitch yourself one last time is to ask ‘are there any reservations that you’d have about hiring me that I can reassure you about?’. This gives you a rare opportunity to find out what an interviewer is thinking and clear up any misconceptions that could have stopped you from progressing to the next level.
Don’t Let The Good Ones Get Away
Don’t be afraid to follow up after a job fair. The day itself was probably exhausting for a recruiter who has met potentially hundreds of job-seekers.
Ask what the best way to get in touch would be and then, after a few days, reach out over email, LinkedIn or whatever the preferred medium of communication is. Be polite and thank them for their time and expertise. Remind them about your conversation and ask about potential next steps in the application process.
If you follow all these tips your personality, soft skills and technical qualifications are bound to shine through and impress recruiters or company representatives. If all goes well, your next online careers fair could be the first step that takes you down the path towards a successful and rewarding career.