• Sespi

    Right leaning libertarian. Navy wife. Russian linguist. Dog lover. Insatiable reader. Catholic. Country music fan. Baker. Southern girl at heart (but not by birth).

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A Virtual Career Fair

{This was cross-posted at SpouseBUZZ.}

I’m not a huge fan of career fairs. Interviews make me nervous, and a career fair is essentially a bunch of mini interviews in a row. Plus the last time I went, I handed a lady my resume and she scanned it and told me I had nothing to offer. To be fair, there were other people at the fair who were plenty interested, but she was one of the first people I talked to, so it was slightly traumatizing. (Tact, lady! Even if you’re not interested, I have SOMETHING to offer.)

After I saw an ad for a milspouse oriented virtual fair and a couple of my friends sent me an email for another virtual career fair, however, I decided to reconsider my aversion to career fairs. I’m pretty personable online. (At least I think so.) I asked around to see if anyone had any experience with a virtual career fair and no one really did, so I registered and figured that even if nothing there caught my interest, it would be worth it just to see how a virtual career fair works.

After I registered, I received an attendee guide in my email with a brief overview of the event and explanations of the different features on the site. The day before the fair, they emailed out a link offering a sneak peek to get familiar with the set up. You could set up your profile, upload your resume, see a list of participating companies, and even save their handouts to your briefcase. (Yes, the virtual career fair came with a virtual briefcase.)

With the handouts saved, you can use the night before do your research to help prepare for the actual fair: What positions are available? What skills are they looking for? What are the companies all about? You know, normal prep stuff to help you figure out where you want to spend your time and what questions you might have for recruiters.

Virtual Lobby

The day of the career fair, I entered the website and found myself in a virtual lobby directing me to various places. There was an auditorium with presentations, which were recorded videos from current employees discussing their work and companies, and an exhibit hall with booths, where you could visit different companies and download handouts, see their lists of current vacancies, talk to recruiters in a group format with other interested applicants, or talk one on one with a recruiter. There was even a lounge where you could go when you needed a break and wanted to talk to other people browsing around the fair!

The group chats made me a little dizzy at times because so many people were talking to so many other people about so many different things at once, but there was a lot of good information in there once you sorted out the conversation threads. Recruiters explained what they were hiring for, what made people competitive, and how to apply if you were interested. But my favorite feature was the one on one chat – I introduced myself to a recruiter for one of the positions I was interested in and after talking to me, she asked me to apply online for one of their vacancies and email her my resume so she could keep it handy.

I’m going to call that a successful career fair. It was a positive enough experience to erase the trauma of the previous experience and definitely something I’d be willing to try again!

(P.S. Keep your fingers crossed and send some good hiring juju my way please! I need a job.)


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