8 ways to stand out at an ACCA Virtual Careers Fair
ACCA has been running Virtual Careers Fairs (VCFs) during the Covid-19 pandemic to allow ACCA members and future members, employers, approved learning providers (ALPs) and universities to continue to connect despite most of us being stuck at home or forbidden from gathering.
Simply put, ACCA’s VCFs are like a ‘normal’ physical careers fair, where employers are on hand to talk about their companies and to offer jobs. Universities and ACCA ALPs are present to answer questions about their courses. There are experts talking about CVs, job interviews and career path strategies.
And like a normal careers fair, you need to prepare in a similar way, but with a few added things to consider for a virtual setting.
So here are eight tips on how to have a successful VCF.
Do your research
At a VCF, employers provide candidates with a lot of resources that can include company profiles, materials showcasing their organisational culture and growth opportunities, available roles, job descriptions etc.
Which is really useful, but all attendees will receive the same information. So read about the companies you’re most interested in, get to know their industries and relevant trends, pinpoint organisational targets and strategies that resonate with your professional goals. These are all good talking points that can help you to meaningfully engage with employers and hopefully be remembered by them.
Just as you would prepare a well-crafted and practised pitch for an in-person careers fair, the same is just as important in a virtual setting. Furthermore, in the same way you’re looking for employers, employers are also on the lookout for you. They’re looking for attendees that match their criteria and if that happens to be you, they can make contact and ask to speak you on the day. So be ready to talk about what makes you a potential asset.
Register with ACCA Careers
If you haven’t done so already, register with ACCA Careers. This has several benefits:
- Many of the employees advertise jobs on ACCA Careers throughout the year
- The majority of job applications at a VCF are made via the ACCA Careers job board, so if you’re already registered and familiar with the site, you have a head start
- The careers advice on ACCA Careers will be invaluable in helping you prepare for the big day
- And beyond the VCF, on any given day, ACCA Careers has tens of thousands of jobs advertised globally from of the world’s biggest employers and careers advice content uploaded daily
Polish your CV
While we advise that as a general rule you should adapt your CV to each job application you make, we strongly recommend coming to the VCF with an updated CV, so that it won’t take you too long to adapt it when you submit job applications or an employer asks to see your CV.
‘Really’ standing out
Don’t be shy — take part in conversations within group chatrooms and ask questions during webinar sessions. To do this well, refer to the first point — do your research. This will help you to contribute in a relevant and informed way that will ultimately make you a memorable candidate for employers.
Dress to impress
You might end up talking to hiring managers on video calls, so look the part, be smartly dressed, with neat hair, just as you would for a face-to-face event. This also helps you to mentally ‘get in the zone’, to feel as if you’re doing something official even if it is from the comfort of your home.
Home set up
One of the only points here that differs from preparing for a physical careers fair. Make sure your technology is working, especially the mic and video on your computer or smartphone, and that you have a stable internet connection. Choose a peaceful, comfortable place away from unwanted distractions and interruptions. Remember that you’re trying to make a good impression, so if you look good on screen, with a nice, tidy backdrop and good camera angle, it will go a long way. You can read more about a good home office set up here.
The follow up
Finally, following up. Don’t let all the preparation and hard work you put in before and during the VCF go to waste by not following up on your applications and new connections. Even a simple email telling the representative that you really enjoyed meeting and talking with them, and if there’s any further information they’d like from you, to not hesitate to ask. This can go a long way to cementing you as a credible candidate in someones mind.