Do You Make These Mistakes with Virtual Career Fairs
A virtual career fair is another tool in a job seeker’s job search toolkit. Over the past couple of years, virtual career fairs have gained prominence. Although as the name says, these career fairs are held from a computer – you should treat them as if you are attending a traditional career fair. Here are some mistakes that job seekers frequently make when attending virtual career fairs.
- Not preparing: When attending a virtual career fair, job seekers need to take the event seriously. This means preparing for the event. Organizers often post the list of attending employers prior to the event, therefore it is up to job seekers to review the list, then research the companies that interest them.
- Attending the virtual career fair in your pajamas: It is true that while attending virtual career fairs, most of the interaction between company representatives and job seekers is via chat and instant messaging, but there have been many instances when an interested employer wants to conduct a Skype or video interview immediately. How would that reflect on you if you are not dressed appropriately? On a related note, make sure that you have Skype loaded onto your computer.
- Using unprofessional language: When instant messaging or chatting online with your friends, it is perfectly acceptable to use BTW, OMG, LOL – not so at a virtual career fair. Communicating professionally is expected all the time.
- Impatience: The system is not perfect, and it does take time, so do not leave the fair because it appears that you have waited forever. You cannot see who recruiters and hiring managers are talking to, but they usually have multiple chats going on simultaneously. While waiting for a representative to get back to you, network with other job seekers, or visit other companies that are on your list of companies that you are targeting for employment. The system will notify you when there is a response waiting for you.
- Wasting time: This point is related to the one above. The system takes time, so do not just sit at your computer waiting for a response. Use your time more efficiently by initiating contact with other companies on your list, or networking with fellow attendees.
- Being Disorganized: You do not have a notebook to record notes of meetings and you do not have your resume handy for reference. Keep your notebook; resume, both print and electronic; and cheat sheet by your computer for easy reference. Additionally, have easy access to key information in electronic format so you can quickly copy and paste if you need to.
- Lacking understanding of the process: Most job seekers will think that at a virtual career fair, there will be avatars walking about, but that’s not commonly the case. Think of it as a website with a navigation bar, and chat feature where you can click on the tab that you are interested in.
- Expecting to be hired on the spot: That’s unlikely – it is dependent on how many people are participating. View a virtual career fair as a part of the hiring process. If there are 4000 job seekers attending a fair, with well-sought after employers, chances are you will not have an interview. However, there are times when job seekers secure interviews at the fair, you never know, you could be one of the lucky ones.
To get the most from virtual job fairs, be mindful of these eight key mistakes as you prepare, think of them like a traditional career fair, and you are unlikely to make any of the above mistakes.
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