Tips for Succeeding at Your Next Virtual Career Fair

As we move into the fall season, career fairs start popping up on the calendar. Some are still in-person events, but the virtual career fair is becoming more commonplace. The ultimate goal for the job seeker hasn’t changed — you want to stand out from the crowd. With some preparation, your success will be very real, even if the meetings are only virtual.

Your preparations should begin prior to the event itself. Here are a few tips for getting ready in the days or hours leading up to your virtual career fair:

Test the tech

Do not wait until the meeting time to test your equipment or to familiarize yourself with your schools’ career portal or the employer’s choice of platforms. Check your microphone, webcam and internet connection in advance. Make sure you’ve got the necessary credentials and login info so you can be ready a few minutes prior to your scheduled time.

Plan the space

Make sure the space viewable by your webcam is tidy and well-lit. You should also consider a professional-looking digital background if you don’t have a room that lends itself to the task. Take note of any configuration that works because you’ll almost definitely need to set it up again for future virtual meetings.

Have your portfolio ready

If you have important docs you might need to share, make sure they’re easily accessible. Prepare a dedicated folder on your desktop containing only these files, making them easy to retrieve quickly.

Etiquette never goes out of style

The best way to approach a virtual meeting is to treat it like any other professional situation. This means professional dress, proper introductions and any other forms of etiquette should be observed, just as if it were a face-to-face meeting. You never want to give the impression that a virtual meeting or interview is somehow less important than an in-person event.

The elevator pitch

Be prepared to succinctly offer up your strengths and experiences while demonstrating the value you will add to an organization. Like the name implies, you never know when you’ll be in a situation where you only have a few moments to sell yourself.

Limit the interruptions

The last thing you want is an unexpected distraction to throw you off your game. Let your family or roommates know about the time of your online appointments and exactly what you expect them to do or not do to minimize any possible distractions. Don’t forget to silence your phone and take precautions to keep your pets from becoming a distraction.

Thank-you notes

After the career fair or interview, sending a follow-up thank-you message is always appreciated and never hurts. Send an email to your interviewer within a day or two of the meeting, thanking them for their time, and don’t forget to include a digital sample or two from your portfolio for their reference.

With a bit of foresight, you’ll set the stage for real success in your next virtual career fair, interview or meeting.

If you’d like to see what you can achieve with a great interview, apply now at Paycom careers!