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Thu, Nov 10, 2011

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How To Prepare for A Virtual Career Fair: Veteran Tips & Tricks

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You may have been to a career fair before — it’s quite an experience: joining hundreds (or thousands) of job seekers, all in one place, to meet employers who have positions to fill.

Great if you happen to be in the same neighborhood — but not so convenient if you’re a few hundred miles away.

As part of our continuing efforts to help veterans manage their careers and find great jobs, Monster and Military.com are hosting a “virtual” job fair: an online version of the traditional career fair, with all the benefits of a live event (but without the long lines!).

The Veterans Virtual Career Fair will run from November 14 to 18. If you’re a vet, register today. All you have to do is sign up, post your resume, and start visiting the virtual “booths” of employers. Each booth will have information about the employer and the jobs available, and there will be opportunities to speak with recruiters right at the event.
From your computer, you’ll be able to communicate and engage with job exhibitors and attendees in a virtual environment. As long as you have Internet access, you’ll be able to participate.

Get Prepared: 3 Tips for Career Fair Success

As with any job interview or in-person career fair, being prepared is key. Here are some tips:

1. Make sure your resume is up-to-date. Because this is one of the first things that potential employers will see, it’s important proofread carefully and highlight your top accomplishments clearly.

Start your resume with a clear summary of your background and what you have to offer an employer. (For tips on crafting your resume, check out Military.com’s Resume Writing Archive — and use the Military Skills Translator to “decode” your military experience into language that civilian employers can understand.)

2. Research employers. You never want to enter a conversation with an employer without knowing a little bit its goals, its products, and its mission. See the list of participating employers at the bottom of this post; then go to the company websites and do a bit of research. This is knowledge that will serve you well during the fair.

3. Set some career goals. You may think that telling an employer that you’re “open to any opportunities” will make you likelier to land a job. In fact, hiring managers want people who have specific skills, interests, and specialties.

Think about what your career goals are, so you can target your efforts (this is much more effective than scattershot applications).

A good exercise before going into the fair is to develop an elevator pitch or “personal brand” statement — something that will help you explain the value you bring to an employer, in easy-to-remember sound bites.

As of this writing, the following employers have secured “booths” at the virtual fair:

  • USAA
  • Military to Medicine
  • Amazon
  • CMTC
  • Vivaro Corporation
  • Cisco Systems
  • Bowhead
  • Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.
  • Verizon Wireless
  • Signtronix
  • Concorde College
  • Department of Veteran Affairs
  • MRI
  • Public Storage
  • Goodrich
  • DirectTV
  • Philips
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Deltek
  • Guident
  • Tenaris Global
  • Old National Bank
  • Pacific Gas & Electric
  • Carrington Mortgage  Holdings
  • Wyle Labs
  • Ceva Logisitcs
  • Great Harvest Bread
  • Brinks
  • Optima Network Services
  • Lowes
  • Office Depot

Register for the Veterans Virtual Career Fair today — and tell another vet!

For more tips on career fairs — virtual and real-world — read “Learn to Work a Career Fair.”

Originally posted on The Monster Blog

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