Believe it or not, virtual careers fairs can be great places to network with employers, other jobseekers and recruiters - all without leaving your own home! In order to make the most of the Ex-Military in Management Virtual Careers Fair we suggest that you try to make connections with as many people as possible. You never know, you could find yourself invited for an interview or, at the very least, make valuable contacts for future employment opportunities.
We have produced a guide on how best to network at the Ex-Military in Management Virtual Careers Fair and our Top 5 Tips on Virtual Networking.
Where can you network at the Ex-Military in Management Virtual Careers Fair?
The Networking Lounge: The Networking Lounge is a public chat forum that allows you to network with other ex-military jobseekers, some employers and the hosts, SaluteMyJob and the Officers’ Association. If you have general questions to ask, if you’re lost or simply want to give us some feedback, please go to the Networking Lounge and we will try to help you out. There will also be specific times a day when we will encourage employers to go to the Networking Lounge.
Individual Employer Booths: Every employer taking part in the virtual careers fair will have their own public Employer Booth where you will have the chance to chat to employers and ask any questions. There is also a function to allow one way chat in each Employer Booth, should you or an employer wish to speak in private. One-to-one chats can also take place on your own individual profile.
Top 5 Tips on Virtual Networking
So now you know how you will be able to network during the Ex-Military in Management Virtual Careers Fair, how can you successfully network during the event? Check out these top five tips!
1. Do your research
As we pointed out in our How To Prepare for the Ex-Military in Management Virtual Careers Fair blog post, it is important to do your research. The names of employers who will be taking part in the Ex-Military in Management Virtual Careers Fair will be released closer to the time of the event, so make sure you have done your homework - this will help you network with confidence.
Make sure you have updated your profile: Before you even begin to do your research, make sure you have updated your profile.This is essential - so make sure this is completed as soon as you can! Employers will be able to view this so it’s important to provide as much detail as possible.
Find out who is taking part in the job fair and prioritise employers you're most interested in: Look at their website and their social media to find out what you can about who they are and what they do. If the company looks like a place you feel you would like to work, dig deeper with your research. During the event, you will be interacting with employers so being able to approach a business, with the confidence you have done your research, will make a good first impression. Also check out what job opportunities employers are advertising on their website and make sure you have a tailored version of your CV ready to go.
Keep up-to-date with industry news: Make sure you are up-to-date with any news, events and significant changes in the industry you are looking to go into. This could help you strike up a conversation with employers and professional peers - and show people you know your stuff.
2. Prepare your introduction
Prepare a brief introduction about yourself before the careers fair on April 4th and 5th, so you can simply copy and paste your intro at the beginning of each one-to-one chat with an employer - or fellow jobseeker.
For your introduction, you just need three sentences (max) about you, your experience and your aspirations.
E.g. Good morning/afternoon. I’m currently looking for Project Management roles. I’m a former Signals Officer in the Royal Marines.
Also be prepared to answer the question - “tell me about yourself”. Be ready to talk about your career history, your career goals, as well as any interesting hobbies.
3. Prepare key questions
Asking the employer questions not only builds rapport, but shows genuine interest in the company and if you do end up applying for a role, the information you gained from the answers, will help with your application.
Come up with several questions you can use to start the conversation.
If you have done your research on the employer, you can prepare some relevant questions around your research.
4. Avoid slang/abbreviations
Although you are not meeting employers face-to-face, it is important to still remain professional.
Just because you are typing to communicate, avoid using casual abbreviations such as LOL and smileys.
Read back what you have written before hitting send, typos and poor grammar will not reflect well on you as a future employee.
Also, as you would in a job interview or a face-to-face networking event, avoid using any military slang or abbreviations, unless you are talking to other ex-military jobskeeers.
5. Follow up after the virtual career fair
After the event, make sure you link up with the employers and jobseekers you have met.
Use email, LinkedIn, or other social media sites to keep in contact.
And remember, throughout the event, SaluteMyJob and The Officers’ Association will be on hand to answer any questions you have, so do not hesitate to get in touch. And for more guidance on how to get the most out of the careers fair, make sure you have checked our blog post on How to Prepare for the Ex-Military in Management Virtual Careers Fair.