The new norm has arrived when it comes to what a job fair really is in the COVID world we are living in.
Gone are the days (for now) of driving, taking the subway, biking, or sometimes even walking to a huge gathering like this where you put your best professional and style foot forward.
We are now relegated to taking part in this virtually, which of course has its ups and downs especially if you are someone who is a huge extrovert that thrives in a public setting compared to being stuck behind your webcam (present company included).
There are millions of us unemployed for a variety of reasons, one, of course, being what this pandemic has done to many industries out there. There appears to be glimmers of hope, however, as the amount of virtual job fairs has increased exponentially as a result of COVID.
Take for instance UPS who aims to sign up 50,000 seasonal employees at “Brown Friday” hiring events on October 30 which will include a mixture of 250 virtual and in-person types of situations. It’s a smart move for them in order to make sure that they are employed to the max for the upcoming holiday season.
“UPS Brown Friday has become an annual tradition,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Charlene Thomas. “For tens of thousands of Americans, it’s an opportunity to land one of the country’s best seasonal jobs, with the potential to turn into a career. Many of those who attend one of our job fairs this Friday will be hired by Monday, and many of those hired will be offered permanent jobs when the holidays are over.”
Sounds like a sweet deal right? Many other VCF’s (Virtual Career Fairs) look to be much more competitive compared to what UPS is trying to do as there could be several people vying for a particular position within one virtual meeting. Eek!
So what can you do to make yourself stand out amongst the crowd and ensure that you are the one that is most hirable? Here are five things you can do to make this work.
Don’t get muted
Look there’s talking about yourself in the best way possible and then there’s overtalking to the point where everyone else’s eyes roll in perfect unison. Try to get your point across about why you are the bomb in a timely manner that won’t turn the entire group off.
Dress the part
This is kind of obvious but at least look professional from the waist up. Also, make sure that you always appear as engaging as possible regardless if the spotlight isn’t on you. If they see you texting while someone else is talking or clearly looking like you’re bored out of your mind they probably won’t consider you.
Keep the conversation going
A group chat that flows well will include you chiming in when it’s necessary. Say for instance someone else is bringing up something topical that you can both discuss as well and maybe bring up something in your professional life that relates to the matter. It can give you a one up and make you look intelligent and not a showoff.
Research the company
Make sure you take a look at all the companies that will be attending the VCF ahead of time and figure out which ones suit you the most. Find out the key and interesting facts about who they are, especially any noteworthy news of recent that you can congratulate them on, so that if they point blank ask you what you know about them you’re prepared. AKA: Do your homework! Every little bit helps here.
Follow up. Always follow up
Regardless if this is a one-on-one chat or one with multiple people it’s always key to send a follow-up email thanking them for their time. To not make yourself sound so Power Pointy you can bring up an anecdote that happened during your meeting outside of the usual, “Thanks for taking the time to meet with me today.” Little things like this can result in something much bigger happening like you getting the job over everyone else. Cheers.