Photo courtesy of City of Marietta, GA on flickr.
The following is a guest post by Richard McMunn, Founder of How2become.
We live in a world where it’s possible to get most things online, and the same goes for jobs. Localized job searches on recruitment websites, digital portfolios for creatives, and e. applications are already quite well established as tools for securing a job; the world of virtual job hunts is becoming more and more effective even as you read this.
Another extremely useful addition in the digital recruitment industry is the virtual career fair. It is all very well to have a progressive recruitment industry, but getting the most out of this digital recruitment environment means having to understand it and adapt to it.
Virtual Career Fairs Defined
Virtual career fairs are the same as ‘real world’ job fairs, except that they take place entirely on a virtual platform, where candidates and recruiters can interface using digital communications technology.
Most of us have used technologies like instant messaging, and video chat, but this is usually to connect with friends or family, and rarely in a more formal setting.
The world of informal and semi-formal internet communication is full of emoticons, ‘LOLs’, and OMGs, and that’s the kind of interaction we’re used to on an online platform. But a job fair is a completely different situation.
Granted, a virtual job fair seems innately friendlier and more casual than its physical world counterpart, but underneath all the apparent informality lays a strictly professional and formal affair.
Virtual Career Fair Code of Conduct
Many people forget this, to their own peril! The first step to getting your foot in the door in a virtual job fair is to conduct yourself professionally and appropriately at all times — whether it is through instant messaging or in a video ‘informal chat’ a.k.a sneaky interview.
This includes not just the way you communicate and address people, but also the way you dress. Just because you may be in the comfort of your own home does not mean you can be in your jammies.
Now let’s go further back in your virtual job hunt, the search process. When it comes to jobs, quality and quantity can both pay off, but if you’re going to take the quantity approach, you must be prepared to spend a lot of time on applications and rejections until you get hired. On the other hand, thorough research for different job fairs and recruiters, this can increase your chances of landing a job faster.
Preparing to Attend a Virtual Career Fair
When you do attend a job fair, remember to be prepared for it. The more you know about the companies and positions you have applied to, the more confident you feel, and the more information you have to orient yourself.
If you’re forgetful, keep important information on notes on your desktop. Keep relevant documents ready and nearby. Recruiters may ask specific questions about your previous work experience and skills, and leaving the interview to rummage through your drawer will result in delayed responses, which is not likely to make a very good impression.
Sending a thank you letter to a recruiter after an interview has been good practice for decades, so stick to it, and send out a follow up email to the companies you interacted with.
A virtual job fair is exactly like a traditional job fair, the only difference is the medium of interaction. It is important to remember this and do all the things you would do normally in a formal job fair.
About The Author
Richard McMunn is the director and founder of How2become; the UK’s leading career and recruitment specialist. For the last 7 years, How2become has helped applicants prepare for and pass recruitment processes and assessment centres in order to secure their dream job. You can also find How2become on Google Plus