Chances are, if you’re interested in a career in an education-related field, you’re no stranger to homework.
So it’s likely you’ll set aside time to prepare for MOAA’s upcoming virtual career fair focusing on academia, nonprofit, and research fields – digging into possible employers, retooling your application materials, and giving your LinkedIn profile a fresh coat of cyber-paint.
However, some areas of preparation are more likely to be overlooked. Here’s a quick to-do list before taking part in MOAA’s event, or before any upcoming virtual career fair.
1. Take a Test Drive
Don’t wait until the day of the event to learn how the virtual platform works. Even if you’ve participated in a previous virtual career fair, it’s possible you’ll face a new interface or a new version of software. Struggling to enter a chat room may not be the best start for your online interactions.
Most job fairs (including MOAA’s) allow registrants to familiarize themselves with the platform prior to the event, or at least check out a video of the system in advance.
2. Be Ready to Sell Yourself
Knowing more about your prospective employer is critical before a job fair, but knowing how to present your own background is just as important. Many job-seekers think they’ve completed this task after putting together a résumé and practicing answers to some stock interview questions, but there’s more to it.
Don’t neglect the elevator pitch – 30 seconds outlining your key qualifications and what they could mean to your next employer. This first impression can be the first step to a successful interaction.
[SEPT. 27 MOAA CAREER TRANSITION TOOLS WORKSHOP: The 30-Second Commercial]
3. Look the Part
Yes, you’ll be in front of a screen. But appearance still matters – be sure your virtual setup is well-lit and your background is professional.
Not sure what to wear? Styles vary widely by the individual, but if you’re looking for some general tips, look no further than this special MOAA interview with Project Runway star Tim Gunn from 2020.
4. Use MOAA’s Resources
Academia-inclined job-seekers may benefit from this first-person look at the considerations behind a university career from Capt. Alexander Whitaker, USN (Ret), a Life Member of MOAA. If you’re a logged-in Premium or Life member, you can watch multiple webinars about working a career fair in MOAA’s webinar archive.
Download Marketing Yourself for a Second Career
Learn what you can do to prepare yourself for a successful transition from military career to civilian career. This handbook shows you how to create an attention-getting resume, cover letter, and more. Get tips on self-marketing, job search, interviews, and interviewing. (Available to Premium and Life members)