Attending a virtual career fair is a great way to meet potential employers, get your resume in front of five, 10 or even 20 hiring managers-all in the same day. This is the best return-on-investment a jobseeker could ever hope for. You don’t have to travel to a particular location, worry about traffic or arriving too late. Just simply log into the platform and find the booth of your choice. Does this sound too good to be true? Well, it is true and jobseekers around the world are taking advantage of this new and effective way to get in front of multiple employers, showcase their talent, all without leaving the comfort of their couch. To ensure success attendees will need to put their best foot forward and prepare in advance. Here are six steps to follow to help you prior to the event:
Register for the event. The first step you will need to take to prepare for the event is to ensure that you have completed your event registration and have included any relevant information. This may be your most up-to-date resume, profile information, etc. Registering for the career fair is an important step in the process. Potential employers may view your resume before the event if you were required to upload your resume during registration. This can put you in front of potential employers sooner than other job seekers.
Check out the platform. Learn more about the online event platform prior to the event. Typically you will be able to review a step-by-step guide and a short video. Both will explain how to navigate the event. On the day of the event when you login, you may be taken through several instructions and tips that include checking your sound and getting into multiple lines at once. Keep in mind that technical support is available on the day of the event should you experience any technical issues.
Research the companies. Researching employers and positions of interest in advance will enable you to address how your qualifications fit the needs of the employer. One of the most important steps in the preparation process is spending time learning about the employers who will be participating at the career. Visit the company website, social media pages and also conduct an online search on the company to find out any recent news. Prioritize your list of participating companies/agencies and prepare questions for the ones you are interested in meeting.
Scrub your online profile. Be sure to scrub your online profiles of any “unprofessional” posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. It is important that you update your profile and remove any politically charged posts from your accounts.
Prepare your resume. Don’t forget to proofread your resume for grammar and spelling errors. If you want your resume reviewed prior to the event there are several tools that you can use to help you. UMUC offers students and alumni access to career tools and resources to help you polish your resume. VMOCK is a tool that uses algorithms to analyze your resume and offer you specific feedback on ways to improve it. Resunate is a web-based software program that allows you to upload your resume and automatically evaluate and improve it based on the job description that you provide. To get started using either of these tools, log into CareerQuest and visit the “Tools/Resources” section.
Get Your Computer Ready. Online career fairs use different platforms. You will need to find out if your browser supports the platform. If you will be accessing the event from a mobile device or a tablet you will need to make sure that the platform being used allows you to use these devices.
The networking and educational opportunities virtual career fairs present are far-reaching. You never know where these contacts can lead you in your job search. Although this is a virtual event, it is important to prepare for the event. Remember you have a lot to offer an employer and they are looking for great talent.
Keep in mind that UMUC Career Services is available to help you in every stage of your career. Click here to log into CareerQuest to access career tools, resources, search for jobs, internships, and make an appointment with a UMUC Career Advising Specialist
Rhoda Smackum is a career services advisor at University of Maryland University College. She in an associate certified career coach and global career development facilitator. Her areas of expertise include career coaching, career transition, career exploration, working with special populations, job search strategizing, and supervision