Nathan Huret • Aug 5, 2021

Best Practices for a Virtual Hiring Event (2/3)

As part of our upcoming Virtual Hiring Event, we are putting together a series of blog posts for our attendees – hopefully some helpful advice on how to best prepare and approach the August 26th event. In today’s post, how to best prepare for a virtual hiring event.

The pandemic-riddled 2020 saw millions of Americans switching to remote roles, and 74% of industry experts expect remote work to become significantly more commonplace (and desired in some respects) in the coming years. It’s not only the jobs themselves that will enable employees to work from anywhere. Mainstream acceptance of virtual communications means that some new employees might never meet their employer in person!

That can even start from the interview process – just like our Virtual Hiring Event taking place on August 26th; the event will feature hundreds of opportunities from twenty diverse employer partners geographically clustered in the Hickory, North Carolina area.

Attending a virtual event can be just as beneficial as an in-person career fair, but it does take a slightly different approach to ensure the best chance of success. Here are some tips to help you ahead of our HKY4Vets event later this month.

Take Some Time to Update Your Online Profiles
There’s a longstanding myth that employers are not allowed to look up a candidate’s social media profiles – or can’t let them influence their decision.

Indeed, the practice is on the rise, and it’s to be expected at a virtual hiring event. While you’d expect an employer’s full attention in person, they could conceivably have your social profiles open on a second screen while you’re chatting!

Without the social cues of face-to-face contact, getting an impression of someone through their online footprint is more important than ever before. Fortunately, you’re in control. Make sure your public profiles (especially LinkedIn!) make the best possible impression and, if all else fails, set them to private.

Dress to Impress – but Also for Comfort
Clothing isn’t as important as body language, but it never hurts to appear professional if you end up on the screen.

Among the best parts of job hunting remotely is you have control over what everyone else can see. If you’re at a desk, that means top half only. If shorts and flip-flops make you more comfortable and calm the nerves, nobody else needs to know.

Find a Quiet Space
If you’re taking the time to attend a career fair, it makes sense to devote your full attention.  It can be easier said than done but, wherever possible, try to position yourself somewhere quiet where you know you won’t be disturbed for the duration of the event.

Interruptions aren’t the end of the world. No matter what happens in the background, it won’t be the first time a company representative has seen it. “BBC Dad,” or Professor Robert Kelly, went viral when his kids interrupted a call live on UK news. By all accounts, he’s still thriving in his career, and that was in 2017 – long before remote working became a priority!

Nevertheless, no interruptions mean more precise focus and concentration. If you can devote your full attention to presentations, text chat, and a potential video conversation, you’ll get the most out of the event.

Familiarize Yourself with the Brazen Interface
Zoom and Teams may dominate the headlines regarding remote work, but there are plenty of specialist tools out there for every situation.

We use a platform called Brazen, explicitly designed for virtual career fairs.  If you’re comfortable with computers and video calls, you’ll have no trouble at all coming to grips with the functionality. There’s always someone on hand to help if you run into any issues, and the interface is both intuitive and straightforward.  There’s a dedicated attendee help section on the Brazen website. In addition, if you have any concerns about your technical skills, several articles will put your mind at ease.

Find Out Which Employers Will Attend – And Do Some Research
Successful events involve attracting not only attendees but also employers ahead of time. We are honored to feature nearly twenty employers on August 26th – most of which have or are close to completing their full-featured profiles on the Brazen platform.

Recruiters and employers alike take a lot of pride in their companies, and a demonstration of respect and interest goes a long way. Simply Googling each employer to understand who they are and what they do can help keep the conversation flowing.

Prepare Some Questions Around What Matters to You
You’ve decided to attend the event for a career, not a summer job and a good fit goes both ways. Of course, employers want to understand whether you’re the right fit for the job, but you need to know that it’s the right opportunity.

Forget about searching for questions to ask at an interview. They waste everybody’s time. Instead, decide what you want from the career and use your questions to determine whether you and the potential employer are a match.

Keep the Momentum Going
At the end of the event, you’ve done the hard part.

If you’ve made a good impression, the people you spoke to have your contact details and might follow up. If they got you excited about a role, don’t be afraid to take the initiative and refer to the previous meeting.

We understand this might be out of your comfort zone, but remember everyone is there for the right reasons; employers want top talent and you are top talent looking to take the next step.  It’s a collaboration and, with the proper preparation – plus healthy doses of confidence and enthusiasm – you’ll be ready to take another massive step in the right direction.

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