What’s the Skinny on Virtual Career Fairs?

Virtual Career FairsOur lives are moving online. With the ability to do everything from taking interactive courses in computer science to paying with a decentralized electronic currency, we’re living in an increasingly virtual world. Not surprisingly, career fairs happen on the web as well.

Virtual career fairs help you hire interns and entry-level employees without the hassle of traveling to surrounding campuses. Right off the bat, you’ve saved a considerable amount of time, energy, and money. The actual mechanics of career fairs vary: some operate like group chat rooms, others place you in one-on-one video chats, and others facilitate some mixture of the two. Some online hosts also provide virtual booths that allow employers to list open positions, upload videos about the company, and provide other relevant materials.

Participating in a virtual career fair has unique benefits for the employer. Since you’re not dipping into a travel budget or providing career fair swag, the online option is much less expensive than attending a physical fair. Not only is it cost-effective and efficient, but the absence of physical limitations also means that your company has the potential to gain a lot of exposure in a short amount of time. Recruiters don’t have to spend hours on their feet in a crowded gym, either.

Offering a virtual fair opens up the floor for more conversations with a diverse group of students and alumni who may have missed the traditional career fair—it also allows you to speak with candidates from universities all across the nation. Accept resumes, track conversations, follow-up—the fact that it all happens online makes the hiring process much easier for both employers and applicants.

A quick online search turns up several virtual career fair platforms. Brazen Careerist dedicates a portion of its site to hosting events like the upcoming Mashable Online Career Expo and the National Labor Exchange Military Online Career Fair. CareerEco and Unicruit are other alternatives to look into.

Have you had any experience with virtual career fairs? Tell us about your experience in the comments below, or share with us @IMemployers!

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Nathan Parcells

Nathan Parcells is VP of Marketing and co-founder of Looksharp. He has spent the past decade helping students launch their career, researching best practices for hiring millennials (including running Looksharp's annual "State of College Hiring") and sharing these insights with employers. Nathan's work has been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, Business Insider and more. Outside of work, Nathan is an avid rock climber, back packer and Bob Dylan fan.