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Are Virtual Career Fairs Worth The Time?


Q. I know executive search firms use video to interview so they don’t have to travel, and more people are video chatting, and people work virtually, but I am having a hard time understanding the virtual job fair concept. I need a job so I’ll do what it takes but is this for real? I’m not so sure about the ads I read for people who will help you get a job. Tell me if this is “spam”.

A. You are right about technology encroaching on many aspects of the traditional job search, and not just from the candidate’s side. Using LinkedIn, twitter, Facebook, blogs, and job boards are now standard for hiring managers and the use of video interviews are no longer limited to retained search firms. They are used by human resource executives interested in expanding their pool of potential candidates.

The combination of all these technologies combined with companies seeking great candidates and job seekers looking for great jobs comprise a virtual job fair. These multi-media based recruitment platforms started with avatars representing the job seeker and the recruiter – not exactly at the level we see with today’s avatars. Many companies considered these a costly activity with a cost of hire was too high to make these events worth while.

There are a number of organizations. , like Career Builder, producing virtual career fairs. They are real, and each fair needs to be assessed based on the value they provide, the cost, and the amount of access to companies.

I asked Lindsay Stanton, Senior Vice President of Sales and Strategy for Job Search Television Network (JSTN) to explain more about the services. “A JSTN video virtual career fair is a video based event allowing company clients to use their Video Job Reports and Company Profiles and candidates to connect with the opportunities on a dynamic level and see an inside view of the organization.” Through the JSTN television network, channel 62 locally, strategic partnerships, and web advertising, JSTN attracts active and passive job seekers from recent college graduates to executives.

Lindsay also points out “We have partnered with colleges and universities around the country helping alumni access the services and we are partnered with disabledperson.com and JOFDAV.com (Job Opportunities for Disabled American Veterans).

At the virtual job fair, candidates can create a 20 second video introduction by using their web-cam for only $5.00. Recruiters can view these, chat live if they are interested, and save them to refer to after the event. During the live chat recruiters and candidates can interact by exchanging an application and resume. Candidates also have access to career consultants, and expert advice on the JSTN site and at the virtual job fair.

To register for JSTN’s next virtual career fair visit, http://www.myjstn.com/vcf/ad/keyston_partners

As a candidate, you need to be prepared to answer questions quickly, make a positive impression, and have a strong resume which you can speak to comfortably. Looking good on video and knowing what you want to highlight is also key. Professional attire is a must. I recommend practicing on your own video equipment if you have it! Video gives you the opportunity to make a great impression, or to land at the bottom of the pile. Develop these new job search skills to be the most effective candidate you can be.

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