Is virtual recruiting the way of the future? Is this the new normal? We can’t predict, but what we do know is that virtual recruiting is an opportunity right now that you don’t want to miss. As with any recruiting opportunity, preparation is key. Here are some best practices for ensuring you have a positive and successful experience:
- Update your resume. (Yes… always!)
- Update your LinkedIn profile.
- Research the employer before you go. Sound familiar? Yep, any time you engage with an employer – you want to know what they are looking for so you can assess if you are a fit.
- Practice answering interview questions…. In WRITING! Create a WORD document with answers to commonly asked interview questions because you will be virtually chatting with recruiters and spelling and grammar count! Remember, the answers to these questions should be employer-specific, thus you really have to do your research before you attend and address these questions for each employer you plan on meeting.
- Tell me about yourself.
- What is your major?
- Why are you interested in working for us?
- What is your career goal?
- What are your strengths?
- Be prepared to speak to your technical and soft skills (career competencies).
- Do dress up – studies show dressing “as if” (and this is true for phone interviews, too) supports you in presenting yourself professionally.
- Thank the recruiter you spoke to, get their contact information, and ask if you can connect to them on LinkedIn. Send thank you notes by email within 24 hours.
If the organization hosting a virtual career fair offers a preparation session, take advantage of the training and carve out the time to go. They will most likely review the webhosting platform, the schedule, and offer additional tips to be successful such as how to upload your resume and your LinkedIn profile, how to follow up with the recruiters you spoke to, how to take and save notes after each interview, how much time you will have in each chat room, as well as how the wait lines are managed and if you can be in more than one wait line at a time. This is also a great time to test if your computer equipment works properly.
The bottom line is these are valuable opportunities to engage with employers, build your network, and practice your professional development skills while learning and engaging with new technology skills. Some virtual career fairs will offer keynote speakers, networking opportunities (open chat rooms), and more.
Like all of us, employers are working hard at creating and managing opportunities for engagement during this time of physical distancing because one day it will be back to business as usual and you will want to be online (and on their minds) when it’s time to start working face-to-face again.
Let us know if you attend a virtual career fair, we’d love to hear your thoughts!
Erin Minta has had worked with students in higher education in a variety of roles and serves Embry-Riddle as a Program Manager in Career Services. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications, Arts and Sciences from Western Michigan University and a Master of Arts degree in Community Counseling from Eastern Michigan University. She has been actively involved with the Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration/Cooperative and Experiential Education Division (CIEC/CEED) as a presenter, and as an article and abstract reviewer for the American Society of Engineering Educators (ASEE). She enjoys working with students to help them identify and fulfill their academic and professional goals.