ATD Blog

What Is a Virtual Career Fair Anyway?

Friday, September 30, 2016


On October 12 from 12-3 PM ET, ATD will be holding a Virtual Career Fair—bringing members and job seekers together with employers looking for talent development professionals. This is a fairly new offering for ATD, so I thought it deserved an explanation!

How Does It Work?

Both job seekers and employers sign up to attend the career fair so they can meet one another virtually in comfort and privacy. Here’s what happens:

  • Employers are given an online booth where they post positions and information about their organizations.
  • Job seekers complete a detailed profile and upload a resume to the career fair platform.
  • On the day of the career fair, job seekers visit the employer booths to talk with recruiters using a chat function similar to the type used during webcasts. Job seekers do have to wait in a queue to talk with employers, but they can wait on more than one queue at a time.
  • Employers also have the option of using Skype to hold face to face chats with job seekers as opposed to using the chat function. This should provide employers and job seekers with a more personal experience. (This is a new feature!)

After the career fair, employers can easily review the chat transcript or recording of the Skype interview and follow up with candidates who meet their needs. Employers receive the contact information of all registered job seekers, not just those with whom they were able to chat.


Benefits of Attending

  • Efficiency: As an employer, the virtual fair enables you to gain access to top notch candidates and screen them efficiently. As a job seeker, you can take an hour or two out of your busy day and connect with multiple employers without leaving your desk.

  • Access to Passive Candidates: We have found that many of those who have attended virtual fairs in the past are hard-to-find “passive” candidates who are currently employed and appreciate the ease and privacy of attending a virtual fair.

  • Beyond the Resume and Job Posting:  The virtual fair allows employers to get to know the candidates behind the resumes in an efficient but personalized manner. Job seekers also can get a better “feel” for employers by chatting with the recruiters in real time. 

Having participated in the event myself by manning the ATD booth, I found that it was a great way to get to know members and potential candidates in a short time without having to schedule screening phone calls or incur any travel expense.

Employers looking for an efficient way to connect with talent development candidates, register for the October event here.

Jobseekers, to connect with employers, sign up for the October event here.

About the Author

Sue Kaiden is senior project manager, credentialing for the ATD Certification Institute. In this role, she supports candidates throughout the decision and preparation process and manages recertification for APTD and CPTD credential holders. Prior to joining the CI team, she served as manager of the career development community at ATD where she oversaw content and services related to career development, including ATD's Job Bank.

She is the author of “Keeping Your Career on Track” (TD at Work) and the editor of Find Your Fit: A Practical Guide to Landing a Job You'll Love, a book written with 16 top-notch career coaches, published in October 2016. Kaiden holds a master of business administration degree from Cornell University and achieved the Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD) in 2019.

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