Of all the ways in which you can look for a job, attending a job fair is a good option. A job fair is essentially an event in which employers, recruiters, and hiring managers meet with job seekers to talk about their industries, provide info about their respective companies, and interview candidates for open positions.
Typically, job fairs are huge events that can be overwhelming for some. Thanks to technology, you no longer have to pile into a packed place just to get a few seconds of face time with a potential employer.
That’s right: virtual job fairs are a thing, and they’re a great option for many job seekers.
FlexJobs is hosting its own virtual job fair later this month! Here’s some quick info on what the Virtual Job Fair entails:
- Who: FlexJobs Members
- What: A Remote Work Virtual Fair
- When: Thursday, January 30, 2020; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET
- Where: Your home office
- Why: To connect you with flexible employers looking to fill open roles
Interested in attending this virtual job fair, or another in the near future? You’ll want understand the benefits you stand to gain and prepare!
Benefits of a Virtual Job Fair
Shorter Time Commitment
Going to a job fair takes quite some time. You have to commute to the location, spend the better part of your day waiting in line to talk to a prospective boss, and then travel back home again. But with a virtual job fair, you can pop in and out as need be, without having to calculate extra commuting time.
“Unlike traditional job fairs, virtual job fairs make it easy to focus on the companies and the jobs available because you don’t have to worry about things like your travel time, or getting stuck in a traffic jam,” shared Toni Frana, a FlexJobs career coach.
Easier for Introverts
There’s nothing like crushing crowds to send your inner introvert into overdrive. Virtual job fairs offer all of the advantages of a traditional job fair without having to deal with large groups.
Not Locked into One Location
Let’s say that you’d like to attend a job fair, but for any one of many reasons, you just might not be able to.
Virtual job fairs are accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. So if you’re disabled, live in a rural area where job fairs aren’t commonly held, or are a military spouse, for example, you can attend a virtual job fair—and reap all the benefits as if you were going to a traditional one.
How to Prepare for a Virtual Job Fair
Research the Companies
Don’t let the fact that you don’t have to travel for a job fair lure you into thinking that you can go in and wing it. You’ll still need to treat a virtual job fair just as you would an in-person one. And that means researching the companies that will be in attendance that you’re interested in. That way, you’ll be able to meet with potential employers and impress them with your industry knowledge.
Check Your Tech
There’s nothing worse than signing in to a virtual job fair and your Wi-Fi gets wonky. Make sure to test your settings prior to attending a virtual job fair so that you can let your skills and experience shine—and not your lack of Internet connection.
If you thought that attending a virtual job fair meant that you could show up in shorts and a T-shirt, think again. You need to dress in professional attire that is appropriate for your industry.
“Be sure to set yourself up for success not only with your technology, but also with your clothes. Dress for the virtual job fair just like you would if you were going for an in-person interview,” said Frana. “Looking professional and pulled together not only shows potential employers you are up to the task, but it also helps you get in the right frame of mind to talk with employers and exude confidence in the process.”
To be on the safe side, dress completely—not just from the waist up! (Read: put on pants.) You never know when you might need to get up from your seat while speaking to an employer during a job fair.
Opt for Your Home Office
Although you can, in theory, attend a virtual job fair from anywhere, that doesn’t mean that you should. Ideally, you should log on to a virtual job fair from your home office, where you’ll be able to stage your background so it looks professional.
While you might be tempted to participate from your cell phone, it doesn’t always have the same quality (and connection) as your home computer. Plus, if you need to reference something quickly from your resume or cover letter, it can be harder if you’re already holding the phone with one hand.
Look into the Camera
Even though you probably know better, you might make the mistake of looking at the person interviewing you instead of the webcam. When your focus is on the screen during a video interview (rather than your potential employer), it can not only be distracting, but unprofessional. Make sure that you keep your eyes on the camera to show both your interest and enthusiasm!
Attend the FlexJobs Virtual Job Fair!
Whether you’re actively looking for a new opportunity or are interested in learning more about future career moves, a virtual job fair can serve as a valuable networking tool.
Photo Credit: bigstockphoto.com
A version of this post was originally published on January 16, 2019 and updated September 23, 2019.
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Jennifer Parris, FlexJobs Career Writer
Jennifer comes from corporate America… and a four-hour daily commute! Now, as a Career Writer for FlexJobs , she commutes to the corner office (in her house, that is) in under 60 seconds! Says Jennifer: “I’ve always been a writer,…Read More >
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