By Kimberly Smith, M.B.A.
Career Coach, APUS
As the Department of Career Services prepares to introduce our new Virtual Career Fair (VCF) interactive platform, excitement is building for the upcoming National Security VCF on August 30, 2017. The list of participating employers increases daily and represents an impressive group of federal agencies and private organizations seeking to share insights about job openings with AMU and APU students. This VCF is geared towards individuals interested in opportunities in intelligence, security, emergency management, cybersecurity, logistics and law enforcement.
In the meantime, here are several steps to improve your chances of making a positive impression with recruiters and hiring managers at the VCF.
1. Register to Attend the VCF
First and foremost, commit to attending the VCF by completing your registration. Registration ensures that you will receive important updates and news leading up to the VCF. Registering early also allows you the opportunity to adequately prepare for the VCF and arrange your schedule to attend without feeling rushed.
2. Research and Identify Target Positions
Once you register for the VCF, research the attending companies and agencies by visiting the career section of their websites. Note positions you would like to target in your immediate job search and review the organizations’ application requirements.
Start following these organizations on social media to become acquainted with their company culture. Also, check the companies’ Glassdoor profiles to get a feel for employee engagement and satisfaction.
3. Complete a Resume Review
Several weeks prior to the VCF, submit your resume for review by a Career Coach. A Career Coach can provide valuable feedback to assist you as you fine-tune your resume.
Since the resume serves as a preview of your experience and accomplishments, having a polished resume available before the VCF means you can provide a confident recap of your abilities to a potential employer. While you work with your Career Coach, inquire about tailoring your resume for unique positions.
In addition to your resume, explore the opportunities to develop dynamic profiles on LinkedIn and Portfolium to enhance and broaden your personal professional brand.
4. Attend the VCF Prep Clinic
Take advantage of the VCF Prep Clinic on August 22 at 2 p.m. ET. The Prep Clinic is designed to prepare you for getting the most out of the VCF.
During the Prep Clinic, you will gain information gathered directly from company and agency recruiters planning to attend the VCF. You will also receive instruction on how to review the schedules of participating employers, so that you can properly align your schedule with theirs on the day of the VCF.
5. Treat Potential Employers with Courteous Professionalism to Create a Good Impression
On the day of the VCF, customize your greeting messages when you reach out to the representatives of your target positions. Remain courteous and professional in all conversations, and make it a goal to end any interaction by leaving a favorable impression.
6. Apply to the Employer’s Positions and Follow Up
Following the VCF, submit your applications to your desired positions, using the information gained from networking with recruiters during the VCF. Once your applications are submitted, email those recruiters to let them know that you have submitted an application to their organizations.
The National Security VCF is always our most highly attended Virtual Career Fair. In order to stand out from your peers, we encourage you to follow our recommendations. If you do, you’ll be more likely to experience a meaningful VCF that could potentially change your career journey.