Ugh! Another rainy day in New York City.…bringing the rainfall to a record breaking total not seen since 1934. It’s too much; I want to get out of here. If only I could move to sunny San Diego. It would be pretty irresponsible to up and move across the country without a job already in place…but it’s not exactly easy to interview and search out positions from the opposite coast.
Or is it? About 10 years ago, a new phenomenon, the virtual job fair, began popping up. Unlike the traditional job fair, the virtual job fair allows for interactions between employers and job seekers to take place “online,” thus saving both sides time and money. The virtual job fair reduces the need to travel to live events — and posting online vacancies is much cheaper than using newspaper ads. The benefits are numerous!
This new trend offers the job seeker the opportunity to view and apply for positions from the comfort of home at any time, day or night. The virtual job fair gives perspective employees the ability to submit their resume to active job listings with just the click of the mouse and this can really increase employment opportunities.
Other benefits the virtual job fair offer are the opportunity to interact with a number of methods including chat, video and Skype. They also often give you the chance to complete assessment tests to help you match your skills with suitable companies. Just be sure to prep beforehand.
However, this should not be your only method of finding a position. Make sure to combine it with attending on-site job fairs, networking events, and searching job listings online and in industry publications.
Dismal unemployment figures, combined with predictions that layoffs will continue to rise, have created a variety of challenges for job seekers as they attempt to land a job in this highly competitive environment. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, colleges and universities will grant an estimated 1,585,000 bachelor’s degrees this school year, up from 1,544,000 in the 2007-2008 year and 1,506,000 the prior year — meaning that competition among the grads themselves will be inevitable, not to mention those already in the workforce.
To combat that, make sure your resume is well written and highlights your specific qualifications for the job you are applying for. Also, don’t be afraid to follow-up with the employer. If you haven’t heard from them within 7-10 days, call. Ask them where they are in the hiring process.
Virtual job fairs are not a one-time thing like an on-site job fair, so make sure to keep checking back to the site to look for new listings. If you are looking into lots of job possibilities, keep track of where you’ve applied. Keep a list of when you sent the application, who you have made contact with and any correspondence you may have had. This will help ensure you follow up in a timely manner.
So if rainy days and Mondays are getting you down, don’t give up, head to a virtual job fair and look for sunny days ahead!
Have your ever participated in a virtual job fair? Was it successful?
Robert Petti is the CEO of Resoomay, a cloud-based pre-screening tool that improves the job search process for recruiters and applicants. Connect with him and Resoomay on Facebook and Twitter.
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