Career fairs have always been an amazing opportunity for employers to easily find lots of qualified candidates, and, of course, for people seeking to find a new job or switch industries.
But, since the start of the pandemic, traditional in-person career fairs have been fading away along with countless other types of events.
And it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Virtual career fairs are nothing new and have been held alongside real life ones way before the pandemic began.
But it seems that only now companies have realized how much more powerful of a tool a virtual career fair can be than a physical one.
First and foremost, it is a matter of convenience and cost reduction. No longer do they have to spend tons of money renting a space and organizing everybody’s time blocks. Candidates also no longer have to potentially drive for hours on end to get to a single career fair.
Also, with virtual career fairs, there is an additional level of pre-screening. Candidates must submit their resumes before they can access the fair, which means employers have a higher-quality pool of people to choose from.
For candidates, this is also a huge plus since some fairs specifically target minorities or underrepresented people, and it might be a lot easier to land a job for, say, a veteran.
Why Should You Follow-Up?
Virtual career fairs usually host large online chat rooms where you can interact with your potential employers. And while a lot of HR managers and recruiters can often tell who is a great candidate right on the spot, it is rare for anybody to get hired immediately.
In fact, recruiters expect you to follow-up with them afterwards. After all, you need the job to pay your bills - they have more candidates lined up.
Following up shows that you’re taking the initiative - which is a very important quality for any human being, especially in the professional world.
It can be an email, a LinkedIn connection with a message, a phone call - or all three of these actions combined.
Below, we will discuss how you should follow up with recruiters in order to maximize your chances to land that position.
Engage With Them In Person First
Alright, “in person” might be a little bit of a stretch, but you know what I’m talking about.
When sitting in an online chat room with 20 other people that you’ve never met before can be intimidating. And all of them will likely have questions for the recruiter.
Don’t forget to speak up and ask your own - get to know the specifics of the position and try to find out as much about the company’s culture as you can. Recruiters really value active people - and by talking to them a lot, they’re much more likely to remember you afterwards.
By simply talking to a recruiter, you get a good chance to at least gain an acquaintance “on the inside” of the company - this will come in really handy when they will be reviewing your CV after the fair.
If they go “Oh, I remember them!” After opening your email, it’s a huge plus for you.
Connect On LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a social media tool built specifically for professionals. Before you send them your follow-up email, it’s a great idea to connect with your potential employer on LinkedIn first. After all, this is what this platform was designed for.
When sending your connection request, don’t forget to add a note saying how you’ve met at the career fair. And if you don’t have a profile picture, please add one.
All this works to ensure that your recruiter remembers you once they see your email.
Continuation in PT 2, this site doesn't let me upload the whole article in one piece for some reason...