Tips to Stand Out at a Virtual Hiring Event

Tips to Stand Out at a Virtual Hiring Event

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You may have heard that you need to ‘get uncomfortable’ if you want to get ahead in your career. 

If you’re like me, a natural introvert, the thought of signing up for an event where you’d need to mix, mingle and talk about yourself with a ton of strangers might conjure up feelings of panic and anxiety. 😦

But… it’s a new year and a new you – you’ve decided to go out of your comfort zone and register for that virtual hiring fair, after all. (Good job!)🤙🏽

While ‘showing up’ is part of moving forward, it’s not the only thing.  To make the most of your time at an online hiring event, consider these four tips: 

  • Research the event ahead of time. Not all hiring events are the same, especially those hosted virtually. Find out how the event will be conducted – this will help you plan your approach when you’re in attendance.  For example, will the event host multiple employers, or is sponsored by a specific company? In addition, does the event facilitate ‘on the spot’ interviews for specific positions, or is it more of a networking-style event? Getting to these answers will help determine how you participate in the event.  In addition, many virtual hiring events offer a few ways people interact, be it through an audio or video call, or through interactive chat sessions. 
  • Be prepared to give more than your elevator pitch.  Once you’ve figured out the format of the event, be clear on what kind of information you hope to gain from the exchange. Have your questions and your background ready to go, as many of these online events limit the amount of time you’re meeting with a representative. Having a plan of what you’d like to cover will help make the time more productive to all parties than simply asking, “So, what jobs do you have?”
  • See it as an opportunity to build your network – an important strategy in career advancement. It’s easy to focus on talking about a specific job at the event.  However, it also gives you the opportunity to establish a connection with someone at the company long-term.  To build upon this connection, consider expanding your intention beyond the usual conversation points. Instead of limiting your conversation to a description of the kind of roles you’re interested in, ask questions that invite feedback on how they perceive your background, or if it is well-suited for other positions. 

(After all, these days, how often do candidates get an opportunity to communicate directly with someone at the company they’re interested in working for?)

In addition, it’s a great opportunity to ask about the business’ overall direction and plans for the future.  What kind of projects or initiatives are they focused on in the next year?  What does one’s career trajectory look like at the company? These are some examples of ways to help advance the conversation beyond you having to hype up your profile in a predictable way.  

  • Stay in touch after the event. Making sure you communicate with those you’ve met makes the ‘building the relationship’ part easier.

Do more than invite your contact to join your LinkedIn network;  in fact, make it a point to keep in touch every few months to get their take on opportunities in the market or at the company.  Share updates on all the things you’ve accomplished, along with what you hope to explore professionally for career growth.  Not only will they have up-to-date knowledge of your expertise and a better ability to match you to opportunities, but also you’ll have a solid (or, at the very least, a less awkward) space to connect in the future.

What are your “go to” tips when attending a virtual hiring event? Share your comments below.

If you liked reading this, please click the ‘bell’ to receive updates on my career advancement and job search articles here on LinkedIn. I also welcome your connection request ⬅️ and getting to know you on the platform.  😊

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