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How to Ace a Virtual Career Fair

In our current world, Virtual Career Fairs are becoming more commonplace. With every attendee being there for the same reason, it is hard to feel adequately prepared enough to stand out above the rest. If you’ll be attending a virtual career fair soon, here are some ways you can prepare in order to appropriately scope out potential employers while successfully sparking their interest in you.

Do Your Homework
Before registering for a career fair, first find out who will be there and what industry will be most represented. For instance, if you are someone looking to enter the accounting world, do not attend a job fair geared strictly towards engineers. The key is to surround yourself with organizations that are seeking your talent, even if this atmosphere is filled to the brim with competition. Know also that there are many different types of virtual career fairs including chat rooms, teleconferencing, webcasts, and/or email so you’ll need to prepare accordingly.

Perfect Your Resume
Before attending the event, ensure your resume is up-to-date and highlights your experience that is most relevant to the companies recruiting. It’s important to have it ready to go in case a potential hiring manager asks you to email it to them right away.

Dress the Part
If it’s a career fair where you’ll be on screen, it’s important to dress professionally just as you would for an in-person career fair or job interview. Also, while you’re on video, even if you’re not talking, be respectful and engaging of others who may be speaking (i.e. don’t take this as an opportunity to check your phone and text someone). Remember you’re on camera and stay engaged.

Be Engaging
First impressions are everything, especially when you are vying for screen time with hundreds of like-minded professionals. Rehearsing your elevator speech is a great starting point to ensure you effectively communicate who you are and what you can bring to the table. Once you are one-on-one with the hiring manager, be sure to ask relevant questions about the company and what they are looking for, making it a dialogue versus monologue. As the conversation is wrapping up, remember 3 things: inquire about next steps, ask for their email address so you can follow up, and thank them for their time.

Follow Up
During the event, get the emails of those you connected with and send them a follow up within the next 24 hours. While it seems like a simple gesture, it is commonly a make-or-break detail. If you are truly attracted to the company, you should reiterate your interest, and thank them for their time. If they are interested they will reach back out to you.

How to Ace a Virtual Career Fair

Vetting Potential Employers During a Virtual Interview

The interview process is evolving and the hiring process may look different for the foreseeable future. When interviews are conducted via video conference instead of in-person, it may seem risky to accept a new position. In today’s blog, we look at this challenge and how to best vet your potential new employer during the age of COVID.

Evaluate Stability

It can be challenging for anyone to forecast what the year ahead will bring. Here are some questions you should research on your own, as well as ask potential employers, when considering whether a job is reasonably low-risk:

  • How volatile is the industry overall?

  • How well-established is the company?

  • Which departments had layoffs in the last 6 months and which have potential for growth?

  • What major challenges has the company faced since the onset of COVID?

  • What are the company’s plans to recover from the impacts of COVID?

Learn the Company Culture

In addition to vetting the potential security of the company, it’s important to understand the company culture and how it aligns with your goals. If you have interviews with potential co-workers, ask them about the work environment, what makes them proud to work there, what they would like to change and how they are navigating this challenging time. It’s important to speak to as many people as you can about the work environment so you can get a more complete picture. Also look at your network to see if any of your previous co-workers or friends know about the company you are considering and get their insight. How you’re treated during the interview process speaks volumes about how you’ll be treated once you’re brought on board.

Assess Your Potential New Team

When you interview via video, it can be challenging to observe body language and get an accurate read of your manager and new team. As you progress through the remote interview process, find out if your potential employer is doing anything like virtual “happy hours” or “team lunches” and ask if you may be able to join. Another option before making a final decision is to set a brief socially distanced meeting with the manager off site for coffee or anywhere outdoors. It can be very beneficial to see your potential team in a more relaxed setting to get a better sense of how they interact and how your personality may fit. Social media also allows you to research the tenure of the key managers and current team or uncover any red flags regarding turnover.

The Takeaway

Securing a job offer is a major achievement in any economic environment, however, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should automatically say yes to the opportunity you’ve been presented. Learn as much as you can from multiple sources about a company’s financial situation, the long-term viability of the job and how you may fit into the culture.

Vetting Potential Employers During a Virtual Interview

Virtual Team Holiday Parties for 2020

Heading into the holidays this year isn’t what we thought it would look like a year ago. With many employees still working remotely, and those going into offices practicing social distancing, thinking of year end holiday team parties can leave many managers stumped for ideas. Many companies have chosen this year to take their usual in-person party online for the safety and comfort of their employees. In our blog we’ll provide ideas for virtual holiday team parties, to ensure that even though 2020 has been a strange year, you and your team can connect and celebrate the holiday season (even from afar).

If you are already having routine calls with your team, make the most of the holiday season by implementing fun themes and topics. For example, have an Ugly Sweater themed virtual call and give a gift card to the winner with the ugliest sweater. Another idea, shared from Forbes, is to have a “Best in Show Pet Share” where employees show their pets at home on camera and tell the story of how they ended up being in their life. The one with the most heartwarming story (as voted by the team) wins. Depending on how frequently you have virtual calls as a team, you can either spread out fun ideas throughout the month of December, or choose to have one virtual holiday party. If you choose to have 1 one big virtual holiday party, TeamBuilding.com has a list of 32 virtual holiday party ideas to get you inspired! A few of our favorites are:

  • Gingerbread House Contest: before the event, send each employee a gingerbread kit and before the call have them create their gingerbread house. Each participate will share their creation over video and the team can pick the winner with the best house. Similarly, you can do this same idea with cookie decorating.

  • Virtual Holiday Trivia: TeamBuilding.com has a PDF to use for this, but there are a variety of similar ones you can find online.

  • Name That Tune- Holiday Edition: With this game, each team member will either hum the tune of a holiday song or mute the microphone and truly sing the song. The other players of the game then will listen carefully or read lips to pinpoint the holiday song. Holiday carols would be chosen ahead of time so there would only be a set number of songs for each person to choose from.

With a little creativity, your virtual holiday work parties can still bring the team together and provide a fun and festive team building opportunity.

Virtual Team Holiday Parties for 2020