Ways to Prepare for a Virtual Career Fair
April 18, 2012
Attending a virtual career fair has many benefits — there’s no gas and parking costs, you don’t need printed résumés, you don’t need to find a babysitter, and you don’t need to wear special “interview clothing.” There’s also no waiting in lines!
To get the most out of a virtual career fair, register early and post your résumé so employers can review your information before the fair begins. During the event, employers will be interacting with many candidates, but you can still make yourself stand out in a positive way by being prepared. Here are some valuable tips:
Take your online conversations or “virtual chats” seriously. Avoid using abbreviations or slang during your interview if you want to be taken seriously by recruiters.
Browse the companies in the virtual “room” before submitting your resume. Instead of sending your résumé to every booth (or company), review the jobs first and tailor your résumé to the positions where you can best match the skills the employer is seeking.
Smile, wear nice clothing and clean up your home office. A promising conversation with a recruiter can quickly lead to a Skype conversation with a web camera. Be ready. Make sure your room is clean and professional. Wear colors that make you look good on camera. Pay attention to your voice level and eliminate any distracting noise.
Check your social media profiles, and update and clean them up, if needed. Recruiters may check out your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter activities. Have you “put your best foot forward” in your online profiles and conversations? Would an employer question any of your online behavior?
Relax, but remain professional. At a virtual career fair you can explore employment opportunities in a more relaxed way, without the anxiety you may feel during a face-to-face interview. To get the best out of the experience, set some clear goals in advance. Prepare for questions, plan your answers and keep them in front of you.
Send a “Thank You” note. Remember to email a thank you note to anyone you talked to within 48 hours of your interview. If you don’t receive a response within a couple of weeks, be sure to follow up. Let the company know you’re still available and interested in the position; and find out the status of your application.
Lady Victoria Walker is a workforce development project assistant at Goodwill Industries International and a contributing writer for the GoodProspectsSM web site.