Virtual Job Fairs
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Attending a job fair over the years has been popular among job seekers and employers. For most job fairs, several companies are invited to showcase what they can offer qualified applicants while interested job seekers can move through a wide array of possible companies they could network with and potentially work for. With the current social climate changing the way businesses operate, American Job Centers will need to quickly implement hosting and facilitating virtual job fairs, if there are not doing so already.
This begs the question: what’s the difference between a standard job fair and a virtual job fair? Very simply put, the only big difference is virtual job fairs are online, and the traditional ones are not. Virtual job fairs have been replacing standard ones since 2013 and have become even more of a formality in the business world rather than a creative way to reach out to potential employees (Dienst & Johnson, 2020). At a standard job fair, employers gather the resumes accumulated throughout the day, read through them one by one, they can interview individuals on the spot, and then reach out to the potential candidates for a more formal introduction. Similarly, at a virtual job fair, “rather than just reviewing resumes, hiring managers will still be able to meet candidates face to face, interview them and make offers right on the spot” (Dienst & Johnson, 2020). Employers that attend virtual job fairs can keep the line of communication open for up to a week after the scheduled time for the virtual job fair, allowing for more job seekers to develop interest and hopefully apply. Due to the current social climate, it is also important to consider personal safety while also meeting the basic needs of survival: paying for food, rent, health care, the list goes on. Virtual job fairs can accelerate the hiring process, and help veterans continue to provide for themselves and their families.
According to Disabled American Veterans (DAV) website, “Recently, over 1,200 individuals took part in a DAV co-sponsored job fair where more than 50 employers were represented” (Lett, 2020). Over the last six years, the DAV organization has had 607 traditional and virtual career fairs that had an attendance of about 210,000 participants, resulting in 146,000 job offers (Lett, 2020).
Understandably, this experience is very different than what most veterans are used to however, the state of the world does not appear to be changing anytime soon. It is time to adapt and veterans are one of the most adaptable populations and employers want to hire them. Websites such as Indeed.com and CareerBuilder.com mention in their job listings that veterans are strongly encouraged to apply for “this” position. It is in the best interest of the veteran population to begin the transition of attending virtual career fairs and to continue taking this new way of life one day at a time.