Attending MOAA’s Virtual Career Fair? Here’s Your 10-Point Prep Sheet

Attending MOAA’s Virtual Career Fair? Here’s Your 10-Point Prep Sheet
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Are you ready to take charge of your job search? MOAA’s ready to help with its first free virtual career fair of 2021 – and with these 10 steps so you can make the most out of it.

1. Register Now! Sign up today for the Feb. 4 career fair, which kicks off at 1 p.m. Eastern. You’ll be able to interact with military-friendly, veteran-ready employers.

2. Research the CompaniesBe ready to articulate your value by emphasizing your unique skill sets the employer is seeking and show how you’d fit in with their operational culture. A list of employers is available on the registration page.

3. Review Vacancy Announcements on MOAA’s Job Board. Our partnership with Indeed offers access to more than 1 million open positions. Dissect the job announcements from your target companies on your positions of interest to determine exactly what they want in a successful candidate.  

[RELATED: 5 Reasons to Visit MOAA’s New Job Board]
 
4. Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile. While you may have created a profile on the world’s largest professional site, few people take any further steps. LinkedIn’s strength is its ability to help you expand your network; make sure your profile is ready for prime time now so you can immediately follow up with your new employer contacts with a thank you note and connection request post-event. Get some tips from MOAA on the online networking process.  

5. Update Your RésuméA résumé is one of your primary self-marketing documents. It is you on paper: a reflection of your capabilities, experience, and accomplishments. Whether they are hard or soft skills, be sure to cite specific results, impacts, and accomplishments; tell them how you can use the value-added skill to their benefit. Quantify your accomplishments whenever possible. 

[RELATED: MOAA Résumé Critiques and Reviews]

6. Have a Professional Biography Ready. Nothing screams “I want a job” more than offering a résumé too soon before you have established a relationship. You may want to consider a softer touch: Introduce yourself with a biography and hold your résumé until you get more information about any potential opportunity, so you can target your résumé, cover letter, and job application products. 
 
[RELATED: How to Write a Professional Biography] 

7. Check Your Tech. Make sure you are fully set up on the MOAA Virtual Career Fair platform hosted by Brazen. Downloading the software, creating your account, and uploading your self-marketing documents in advance will alleviate stress and ensure you are ready to go on the day of the event.

8. Select Proper Attire. Prepare yourself to present your professional brand. Watch these must-see videos offering fashion tips for civilian careers from renowned experts Tim Gunn and Stacy London.

9. Prep Your Elevator Pitch. Practice your 30-second introduction. Prepare bullet points that highlight your skills and, when possible, tailor those points to your targeted companies. If you can deliver your personal background as concisely and effectively as possible, you’ve opened up more time for asking your own questions and developing a connection with recruiters.

10. Remember to Smile. Have fun! Talent acquisition professionals from companies may compromise on experience levels and education requirements, but one thing they will never budge on is a positive attitude and enthusiasm! 

[FROM 2020: 5 Tips to Prepare for MOAA’s Virtual Job Fair]

Need more guidance? MOAA’s Transition and Career Center includes advice on career fairs of all types, along with countless additional resources for your transition and job-search needs. Premium and Life Members can access even more materials, including archived webinarspersonal career counseling sessions, and much more.

 

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About the Author

Col. Brian D. Anderson, USAF (Ret)
Col. Brian D. Anderson, USAF (Ret)

Anderson joined the staff of MOAA's Career Transition Services Department in August 2011. He served 26 years in the U.S. Air Force in a wide range of command and staff assignments. Connect with him on LinkedIn.