Job Search in the New Normal: Virtual Job Fairs

Posted by Kathleen Smith

In the first installment of our three part webinar series, “Job Search in the New Normal,” recruiters Amy Hargrove, SAIC, and Daniel Kim, PAE, share tips to help you navigate a virtual job fair like a pro. Consider these key tips from the webinar or watch the recording below for the full discussion.

1. Virtual Job Fair Prep – Just as with any interaction you plan to have with a prospective employer, prepare for your chat ahead of time by researching the company and their available positions. Come ready with questions, spanning topics such as company culture, opportunities for upward mobility, benefits, etc.—things that you can’t find on their career pages or job descriptions. Prepare your introduction, any expected responses, and the questions you plan to ask in a document that you can later copy and paste from into the chat. This groundwork will help you jump right into your conversations and maximize the efficiency of your timed chats. Also be sure to check your tech, close unnecessary browser windows and other applications, and set up in an area with limited distractions.

2. Chatting With Recruiters – Be sure to stay near your device if you’re actively in line to chat with any employers. A chat can start any minute so be ready to go and don’t multitask when messaging with a recruiter– every minute counts in these timed chats. While these are not full-fledged interviews, share critical information such as your clearance level, noteworthy certifications, and where you’d like to relocate to if applicable. And if you plan to follow-up (which you should do with every recruiter you speak to), ask for the recruiter’s contact information so you can send a thank you note outside of the platform after the event.

3. Following Up – Save a few minutes at the end of your chats to discuss next steps and get their contact info if you haven’t already. When your chats conclude, note any follow-up actions you plan to take. Do you need to send them an updated or targeted version of your resume? Do you plan to apply to the position? Then in your follow-up make sure you thank them for their time and add any additional key information you forgot to mention or something you can give further detail about. It’s also a best practice to attach your resume so that they can forward your email on to hiring managers without having to look for it. Even if the job opportunity isn’t the right fit, send a thank you note or connect on LinkedIn to expand your network of recruiters.


We received a couple questions during the webinar that were not answered during the live broadcast. You’ll find the questions and responses below:

Q: How much time does a typical virtual interview last?

Each chat is timed and can last up to 8 or 10 minutes, depending on the event. The recruiter has an option to extend the chat as well.

Q: How do I send the interviewer a document while in the virtual meeting, is it only through email?

When you register you will upload your resume, which is visible to the recruiter once the chat begins. If a recruiter asks you for more information, be sure to get their contact information so you may do so outside of the platform.

Q: Is the follow-up only a raw text message or do you send a tailored Word document as an attachment?

If you’re following up with a recruiter, you will do so outside the virtual cleared job fair platform. So be sure to ask for the recruiter’s contact information while you are chatting, so you can email them or contact them accordingly when the event concludes.

Q: As we go through COVID-19, how fast are recruiters getting back to applicants?

This varies widely by company and how workloads have been distributed. At this time we should all be more forgiving of response times.


This entry was posted on Friday, May 01, 2020 3:57 pm

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