In a previous blog, I introduced the idea of job seekers attending Virtual Career Fairs (VCF’s). It is a valuable recruiting tool that is becoming more and more popular; but what should you expect from this new form of recruiting?
A VCF is essentially a platform that hosts private chats between you and a recruiter. Each VCF may be different in specifically how the chats are handled; however, you will typically be able to chat one-on-one with a recruiter.
You should expect to make a connection with the recruiter rather than walk away with a job offer. You should consider the event a success if you end the chat with the recruiter’s direct email or LinkedIn profile for follow up purposes; especially if the recruiter asks you to send them your resume!
Helpful Tip: Dress for success and get your background in order. You never know if the recruiter will request a video chat!
In order to better your chances of that connection, make sure that you prepare yourself for success by putting in your research ahead of time. Since you’ll be online, you have the opportunity to research the company, and open positions, prior to starting a conversation with a recruiter. Trust that a recruiter would rather spend their time discussing your specific qualifications and experiences than telling you what positions are currently available. In my experience, if you ask a recruiter what positions are available, you will be sent a link to a website and the conversation will end there. However, if you start with a short elevator pitch about yourself, you’ll open up a dialogue that leads to a connection.
When participating in a VCF, you should always communicate in a professional manner. In other words, do not use internet shorthand. “You” does not become “U”, and acronyms like “LOL” and “JK” should never be used. Remember, you are actually communicating with someone who may be an integral part of you landing your dream job and their impression of you is of the utmost importance; especially if you listed written communication as a skill on your resume – this is the time to demonstrate it. Not only should your messages and responses be well thought out, but everything should be spelled correctly as you have the ability to read your responses prior to sending them.
Helpful Tip: Spell checks your responses in a word document prior to posting it in the chat.
With Virtual Career Fairs becoming a more popular and prevalent recruiting tool, it will be important to familiarize and prepare yourself. Next time you have the opportunity to participate in one, take it! It may just be the key to getting that dream job offer.
[Related: 10 Tips to Prepare For A Virtual Career Fair]
About the Author: Ann started her education at the University of Findlay and completed an Associates degree in Equestrian Studies in 2005. After working for a few years in a wide variety of farm/ranch jobs, she completed her Bachelors in Health Care Administration at Ashford University. Ann served as a clinical technician in an ICU/Telemetry unit before working as a Clinical Research Coordinator for Cardiac, Vascular, and Thoracic surgery.
In 2011, Ann transitioned from working in the healthcare field into higher education and started as an Academic Advisor. While working as an advisor, Ann developed a passion for assisting students in converting their education into careers and became a career coach in 2014. Ann currently works with students in the health, nursing, and Intelligence/National Security, and Military industries.