By Roxanne Ferreira
Career Coach, APUS
Register now for the Back-to-Work Virtual Career Fair on May 20!
When you attend a Virtual Career Fair (VCF), it is important to plan ahead of time how you will engage with recruiters in a virtual environment. Creating a plan of action with concrete steps to follow prior to a VCF will ensure your conversations with recruiters are productive. These steps include introducing yourself, using insightful questions during your chat with a recruiter and following up after the VCF is over.
Introduce Yourself in a Clear, Concise Way to Recruiters
When you enter a chat room in the VCF, click “Load Earlier Messages” and scroll through the chat log to see what information the recruiter has already shared. Then, post a brief introduction providing relevant information about yourself.
For example, use the “past-present-future” formula to create concise and memorable introductory statements for recruiters:
- Past: State your relevant employment experience and/or education.
- Present: Mention what you are currently doing academically and/or professionally.
- Future: Indicate the industry or type of role(s) you are targeting. If there is a specific job you are interested in at the recruiter’s organization, reference it.
An example of the “past-present-future” formula could be: “Hello, my name is Henry Smith. I have eight years of logistics experience and recently completed my bachelor’s in supply chain management. I’m interested in your Shift Manager position in Nashville. What qualities do you look for in a candidate for this position?”
Start a management degree at American Public University.
Ask Quality Questions
Once you’ve captured the recruiter’s attention, use the opportunity to show that recruiter that you’ve done your research and describe how you would be a good fit for the organization. Ask questions about a specific position, the hiring process, the company culture, or the ways that new employees succeed once they’re hired.
Here’s an example from APUS Corporate Recruiter Leia O’Connell: “I took a moment to review your LinkedIn and saw you recruit for XYZ type of role, which is also posted in the booth. I’m planning to apply later today — what are the top two skills you’re looking for in this position?”
Make note of any information the recruiter shares for future reference. Remember to be yourself and let your personality come through — it will help you stand out from other candidates.
When you are ready to end the conversation, be sure to thank the recruiter for his or her time and information. Then, select “Leave Room” to fully exit the room. Otherwise, it will appear as if you are still in the chat room and the recruiter may continue chatting with you.
Promptly Follow Up with Recruiters after the VCF
Be sure to send a follow-up email after a VCF chat. Put your name and “follow up from APUS Career Fair” in the subject line to grab the recruiter’s attention.
Also, include information about something you discussed during the chat to jog the recruiter’s memory of who you are and acknowledge the help provided. Let the recruiter know if you’ve applied for a specific position, say “thank you” for the time the recruiter spent with you and always convey your interest in becoming a part of the team.
The Back-to-Work Virtual Career Fair Is May 20
For those who are seeking new job opportunities, join us on May 20 for our free Back-to-Work Virtual Career Fair. This event is open to current AMU/APU students and alumni, as well as members of the public affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to chat live with recruiters and build valuable connections!
About the Author
Roxanne Ferreira has been a Career Coach at American Public University System since June 2019 and has over nine years of experience in education. Prior to working for APUS, she was a lead teacher at Ocean State Montessori School in East Providence, Rhode Island and a teacher for Killingly Public Schools in Killingly, Connecticut. Roxanne has a B.A. in elementary education from Rhode Island College.