Traditional job fairs required employment seekers to dress their best, print dozens of resumes and hit the road to attend the fair in pursuit of a job. The technology revolution has brought together employers and job applicants in the ether, allowing both to browse in pajamas from home. Virtual job fairs benefit companies and job seekers alike, but the planning and composition of the online fair require the same effort and energy of a traditional job fair to make the event a success.
Plan the website design. The job fair website should function properly and allow easy browsing. Use paper to lay out the overall web design, including any links to employers or information content. Talk to job seekers or hire a professional research company to conduct surveys to determine what potential employees in your area look for on an employment site. Important website details include job qualifications, salary, and application requirements and due dates.
Write content for the job fair site and solicit companies. Interesting content attracts job seekers eager to learn more about the hiring company and details about job offerings. Interview employers about positions and write up job descriptions with the information collected. Carefully review content to ensure that captions match the images you will add to the site and that the content is free from grammatical errors. Errors such as these make the virtual job fair appear less reputable.
Take photos of and film company staff and other action for the website. Job seekers enjoy seeing online interviews with staff members of companies that are searching for employees. Develop a list of questions for live-action interviews on the website. Edit the interviews, still photos and action shots. Set up direct links to companies' human resource departments from your job fair website.
Build the website and select a web hosting company. If you're building your own website, begin inserting your content and images into the site. If you're contracting the work, interview web builders who will do the construction. Shop web hosting companies for search engine optimization (SEO) placement of your virtual job fair. Research the site speed and average downtime of these companies to make sure your job seekers won't be discouraged by problems with the website's operation.
Promotion is the key to a successful virtual job fair. Develop a promotion plan and list the necessary steps using a calendar. Create a press release announcing the fair and make a distribution list of web addresses. College, university and high school career centers; neighborhood and regional job training programs; and community centers attract potential site visitors. Send press releases to print and online newspapers. An early announcement before the event has a greater chance of drawing job seekers. Make the first announcement at least two months in advance, followed by another one month before the event and a reminder a week and several days before the event.
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