Virtual Career Fair Tips from ON24
According to ON24, the global leader in webcasting and virtual event solutions, one of the fastest growing applications for virtual event technologies is the virtual career fair. The total number of virtual job fairs produced on the ON24 platform doubled in 2011 over 2010 totals. In addition, the virtual job fairs attracted the largest audiences.
“While the top application for ON24’s virtual event platform remains marketing and demand generation, the growing acceptance of the virtual career fair alternative has been dramatic,” said ON24 CMO Denise Persson. She attributes this to economic factors and the inefficiencies of traditional recruiting methods.
Despite the improving economy, unemployment remains an issue for most companies, she explained. “But even companies that are hiring have trouble finding qualified candidates. Traditional techniques aren’t effective or efficient in a global economy, yet their costs are high. Employers need a larger talent pool from which to draw and assistance matching open positions with available candidates. The solution is the virtual job fair.”
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Benefits of virtual job fairs include cost-effective, faster recruiting and greater reach. Employers can also offer downloadable materials and conduct “mini-interviews” on the spot within the ON24 environment. Examples include:
- IBM Destination Africa Job Fair
IBM held an internal virtual job fair to recruit employees for opportunities in a rapidly growing market, Africa. Targeting the 19,000 IBM employees with connections to Africa, IBM Recruiting sponsored a job fair featuring information about career opportunities and access to relocation experts. Close to 1,000 candidates were identified, and IBM has raised overall awareness of job opportunities in Africa.
- SAE International Virtual Career Fair
SAE International is a global association of more than 128,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries. SAE uses the ON24 platform for its virtual career fairs, online events that successfully, efficiently and affordably connect hundreds of job seekers with hiring companies in the mobility industry.
There are many benefits for job seekers as well. A virtual career fair can shorten the time needed to find a job and also provide instant access to thousands of open positions. “This sort of experience just can’t be duplicated at a traditional job fair,” Persson said. Other benefits for candidates include:
- Apply and interview for hundreds, or even thousands, of jobs, without travel
- Access with ease—all that is needed to participate is a PC, laptop or mobile device
Virtual career fairs provide both candidates and employers with a convenient way to connect – reducing the time and costs associated with traditional career events. Job seekers also have opportunities to quickly and efficiently interact with professional recruiters from multiple hiring companies in the online venue. “Both job seekers and hiring companies find that the virtual environment provided by ON24 is a great place to meet, connect and communicate. It is a fast and engaging process that saves everyone time and money,” Persson explained.
Below are some insightful tips from ON24 on actions made during a virtual career fair:
1. Do you use emoticons or Internet abbreviations? – While several of us type “OMG” or “J” online, these shortcuts may not be appropriate for online interviews conducted over chat. A good rule of thumb is to avoid abbreviations and slang during the interviews. Recruiters tell ON24 that job seekers need to take every communication during a virtual show seriously.
2. Browse before sending your resume – Several companies participating in virtual career fairs tell ON24 that the resumes they receive are often too broad and not specific to positions that are posted. Instead of blanketing every booth with your resume, you may consider looking at the jobs first and tailoring your resume to
for the positions that most interest you – something you can’t do at a physical job fair.
3. Wear a nice shirt and clean up your home office – While many people think they can attend a virtual show in their pajamas, a good conversation with a recruiter can lead to a Skype conversation in minutes. Job seekers who don’t want to lose momentum should make sure they are wearing a nice shirt (avoid white and patterns, which don’t look good on webcams, in favor of blues and greens). Also, since Skype conversations usually capture the background behind you, make sure it’s clean and professional.
4. Check your social media sites – While most job seekers have their resumes ready, they need to know that during a virtual career fair things happen quickly. So, if recruiters start chatting with you during the show, they may also be looking at your LinkedIn profile – as well as your Facebook or Twitter postings. Make sure your professional details are updated and anything embarrassing on Facebook is hidden from public view.
5. Relax (but not too much) – A virtual career fair provides job hunters with the opportunity to explore employment opportunities in a more relaxed way, without the anxiety and feelings of intimidation that often accompany face-to-face interviews. While confidence is a good thing, prospective employers report that candidates are often more candid within a virtual job fair than they are in person. Resist the inclination to be TOO relaxed. Set some clear goals before attending a virtual job fair, and prepare for the questions you’re likely to hear. Jot down your answers and keep them in front of you; after all, unlike an in-person interview, you can refer to your notes while you’re chatting with employers online. Remember, these employers will be interacting with hundreds, if not thousands, of candidates, so whatever you can say or do to make yourself stand out in a positive way to hiring managers will help you.
Dr Peng Wei: Designing the Future of Autonomous Aircraft
Air traffic is expected to double by 2037. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the world will need 37,000+ new passenger and freight aircraft, and more than half a million new pilots—unless we come up with another solution. Right now, a George Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science professor, Dr Peng Wei, is starting to research autonomous electric aircraft design.
NASA will fund the research, which will study how to minimise risks for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL). As Airbus states: ‘Autonomous technologies also have the potential to improve air traffic management, enhance sustainability performance and further improve aircraft safety’.
Who is Dr Wei?
An assistant professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Dr Wei has researched aircraft control, optimisation, and AI and ML applications in aviation. Over the next three years, he’ll lead the US$2.5mn NASA grant project in collaboration with researchers from Vanderbilt, the University of Texas at Austin, and MIT’s Lincoln Lab.
Why is His Research Important?
Even though the wide adoption of self-piloting cars, much less aircraft, is still far down the road, technologies that Dr Wei and his colleagues are researching will form the commercial transport of the future. But aviation manufacturers, in order to produce autonomous aircraft, will have to meet extremely high safety standards.
‘The key challenge for self-piloting capabilities is how the system reacts to unforeseen events’, said Arne Stoschek, Wayfinder Project Executive at Acubed. ‘That’s the big jump from automated to autonomous’. In the air, AI-piloted aircraft will have to manoeuvre around adverse weather conditions, such as wind and storms, and other high-altitude risks, such as GPS hacking, cyberattacks, and aircraft degradation. And the stakes are high.
‘If a machine learning algorithm makes a mistake in Facebook, TikTok, Netflix —that doesn't matter too much because I was just recommended a video or movie I don't like’, Dr Wei said. ‘But if a machine learning algorithm mistake happens in a safety-critical application, such as aviation or in autonomous driving, people may have accidents. There may be fatal results’.
What Are His Other Projects?
In addition to the new NASA research, Dr Wei has been awarded three other grants to pursue AI-piloted aircraft:
- A 2-year grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in conjunction with West Virginia University and Honeywell Aerospace to investigate “learning-based” aviation systems
- A six-month SBIR Phase I NASA award with Intelligent Automation to mitigate airspace congestion at vertiports—the electric craft version of airports.
- A 1-year collaborative grant with the University of Virginia and George Mason University from the Virginia Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI) to develop anti-cyber attack technologies and aviation video systems
Research like NASA and Dr Wei’s three-year programme will help improve how AI reacts and adapts to challenging air conditions. In coming years, autonomous aircraft will likely take off slowly, starting with small package delivery, then upgraded drones, and finally commercialised aircraft. But congestion issues will worsen until autonomous aircraft are the best alternative.
According to BBC Future, by 2030, commuters will spend nearly 100 hours a year in Los Angeles and Moscow traffic jams, and 43 cities will be home to more than 10 million people. The final verdict? Bring on the AI-operated transit.