It happened, we knew it was coming, a virtual job fair. Everything else since the pandemic began has become virtual and it was only a matter of time before events like job fairs became virtual as well. As in-person events continue to cancel or postpone many have tried to keep the excitement up by holding quick virtual meetings. As the pandemic looms longer than most of us would hope getting back to some type of normal life has begun and people are looking for jobs. The Trucking Network had a full line of job fairs scheduled for 2020 and managed to have the first one in March as an in-person fair before the mandatory lock down began. As usual that was well attended and I covered that show in person talking with a variety of people. Forced to cancel or postpone the remaining shows caused the management team to try something different with a virtual job fair.
To get back to events The Trucking Network held their first virtual job fair on July 8th. Now I have been on a lot of Zoom calls conducting interviews, classes, and the like but I have never attended a job fair in that fashion. Most of the events that are held virtually are more presentation style so I was really interested to see how this event was going to work. I pictured going into different virtual rooms to talk with recruiters and having a number of people online waiting to chat with job seekers. I have to admit a virtual job fair was a little different than I envisioned. The Trucking Network had built their own platform for the job fair so it was different than the Zoom program I was expecting. It had some cool features like being able to create a profile with all your information, resume, and other important documentation. The main exhibit area had a listing of all the jobs available and the companies behind the positions.
Some did a good job of displaying their positions with big posters, downloadable pay packages, and much more. Others didn’t fill out very much information so you didn’t know what they were looking for until you contacted them. A chat feature was available which allowed you to connect with the exhibitor with questions, but I found many that I contacted weren’t manning their chats so there was a bit of a delay in the response. Another feature available was video chat where you could actually talk with an employer and ask questions in person. While the feature worked fine much of the video chat depended on the internet connection of the people involved. We are able to connect with audio but found sometimes the internet connection made it hard to hear.
I was able to conduct an audio only interview during the job fair that worked well. In summary I would say the job fair was a success from an attendee standpoint. Due to the delay in some chats and video I would suggest going on at the beginning of the event and scheduling interviews throughout the day at an arranged time to keep a flow for the event if looking for a job. The Trucking Network did manage to give away a cash prize to a winner in the afternoon much like they do in their in-person events. Congrats to The Trucking Network for trying something new and pulling off a successful job fair. Why not join the next one on August 8th and see for yourself.