By Christine Rebhorn
What if your first opportunity to meet with a potential employer was from the comfort of your own home? What if the opportunity you're looking for is on the other side of the country - or even the globe? Would the constraints of your daily life allow you to travel while you search for the perfect post-military career?
Technology is one of the many, sometimes overlooked, tools at your fingertips that will enable you to advance your future as you make the transition from military service to a civilian career.
Over the past few years, there has been an uptick in the development and availability of virtual career fairs and online-networking platforms for veterans. These events offer a unique experience that professionally connects you directly to employers and recruiters. Attending one of them not only is a great opportunity for you to get your résumé and LinkedIn profile into multiple hands at once but also a chance to build connections with potential employers.
Typically, a virtual career fair or networking event will allow you to chat one-on-one with a recruiter for 5-10 minutes, either through web-based video chat or through an online chat function. Here are a few things to keep in mind before attending a virtual career event:
- As with any career networking event, research attending companies beforehand. Are you interested in these companies? Do your skill sets align with their needs?
- Prepare a template ahead of time that includes an introduction highlighting who you are. This allows you to focus your time on making connections with recruiters and asking questions.
- Make your responses quick but professional. If you tend to use abbreviations like “OMG,” “LOL,” or emojis, this is not the place for them.
Visit www.moaa.org/virtualcareerfair for additional tips on attending virtual career events and to register for MOAA's upcoming virtual career events.