Making the Most of a Virtual Career Fair

By Kaitlin Hurtado on March 27, 2018

There are a variety of ways to look for job opportunities and with the help of the internet, the option of a virtual career fair will always be available to aid you in your job search. The word “virtual” may throw you off when research different destinations for your job search. The word “virtual” may make the career fair seem less legitimate when considering different options as you lose out on the opportunity to make a strong first impression in person or you instantly think of all the shortcomings of something digital when you first learn of the option.

However, a virtual career fair is a great alternate option for a variety of job seekers as it offers plenty of advantage and opportunities. Just like a non-virtual career fair – it serves as a platform for job seekers and companies to interact and in an ideal situation, for job seekers to come out with a potential career opportunity. Instead of going to various booths or hearing different company recruiters pitch their companies, virtual career fairs, virtual career fair participants typically communicate through webcam, email, or web chats.

If you’re considering taking advantage of a virtual career fair or just considering your options, here is how you can make the most out of attending a virtual career fair.

Take the virtual career fair as seriously as you would any other opportunity

An opportunity can only be as good as the effort and interest you put into it and to make the most of your experience in a virtual career fair, be ready to take the opportunity seriously. Make sure to research the virtual career fair you are going to be taking part in so you know what is expected of you and what to expect of it in return beforehand.

By researching the virtual career fair beforehand, you get the chance to know what companies are going to be represented in the virtual career fair and get a chance to tailor your pitches and resume to each company. Knowing what companies that will be represented also gives you the opportunity to narrow down on a list of companies you want to focus on and save you the precious time of browsing through the virtual career fair and spending more time reading up on companies than actually interacting with them.

Jot down a list of companies you have a particular interest in and jot down a few questions or points of interest so that you have at least one thing to discuss with a representative. Bringing up a particular detail about the company or asking company-specific questions helps relay your genuine interest in the company and separates you from other job applicants who apply to every job just for the sake of getting themselves out there.

Prepare yourself and your surroundings

Just because a virtual career fair can be attended in the comfort of your own home, doesn’t mean you can not physically prepare for the event. Meaning, you don’t want to set up your laptop’s webcam sitting on your bed in your loungewear like you would if you were to Skype call a friend or family member.

Pretend you are participating in a non-virtual career fair or job interview and prepare yourself like you are attending on. You may think you can get away with just preparing your top half – making sure your hair is tidy, teeth free of any remains of your last meal, and a nice shirt on – but you never know when a technical difficulty will prompt you to stand up to fix wiring or restart your router. It may seem silly to get dressed up just to sit in front of a webcam – but you need every factor in your favor to make a strong first impression, even if it is going to be a virtual one.

Make sure whatever background the webcam will capture is appropriate for an impromptu Skype interview with a job recruiter. You make think posters of your favorite Horror films will help reflect your personality to a recruiter, but it may be the perfect distraction and draw the recruiter’s attention away from your conversation. Rely on a background that features a solid color or minimal patterns to avoid distractions.

Remember to make each interaction personal 

When you attend a virtual career fair, you may think of it as a loss of opportunity to make a strong in-person impression, but there are plenty of other methods to help you stand out during a virtual career fair. If you had time to research any of the virtual career fair’s participating companies, be ready to tailor your experience to pitch to different companies.

Giving a general, long list of things you think recruiters would want to look at makes it easier for recruiters to skip through your resume without a second glance if they don’t find any qualities or points that pique their interest. If the position would require translation between languages, mention how proficient/fluent you are in different languages.

Going into the virtual career fair, job recruiters will also have a list of things they want to see in potential applicants. Seeing a quality or skill that suits the position or company that they are recruiting for specifically will help you stand out among many other participants of the virtual career fair.

woman typing on laptop,

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

If the idea of a virtual career fair makes you wary, think of it as another opportunity to connect with job recruiters in an environment where they are actively looking to personally connect with applicants. Remember that there’s no harm in taking another opportunity and good luck in your job search!

By Kaitlin Hurtado

Uloop Writer
Hello! I'm Kaitlin, a second year Literary Journalism major at UC Irvine. I'm a writer on Uloop's national team and a campus editor for UCI.

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