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  • Writer's pictureJ. Mallais

Virtual or In-Person Job Fairs: Which is Right for You?

This year after a two-year hiatus, many recruiting agencies are returning to host in-person job fairs once again. However, there are still virtual options out there as well. So how do you decide which type of job fair is right for you?

Virtual job fairs have the advantage of saving you a lot of time and money. Taking into consideration the costs of flights, hotel, meals out, and possibly even new clothes for the two or three days of meeting future employers, and you can see how it quickly adds up to a serious investment. And let's not forget that you would also need to take personal or <ahem> sick days, if your school doesn't allow for "recruitment days" to travel there and back. Add to that the headache of making sub plans for the days you miss, suffering from jet lag, and the added stress of travelling in our post-pandemic world (COVID tests, vaccination proof, cancelled or rescheduled flights), and you can see that virtual fairs actually have a lot going for them.

That being said, virtual fairs also have some significant disadvantages when comparing them to in-person fairs. While sitting on your couch, you just don't get the networking possibilities with school leaders and other candidates, that you would at an in-person fair. Having the opportunity to meet others while taking elevators, grabbing a coffee, sitting in on school presentations, or at the scheduled Meet & Greets is one of the main reasons to attend an in-person fair. Spotting an intriguing school on their name tag, you can ask someone questions, learning more about what it's really like to work and live where they are. And sadly, the technology being used in virtual fairs just doesn't live up to necessary logistics: sitting in a virtual room, waiting for the sign-up time to start, network crashes, spotty internet connections, the uncertainty of requests for interviews going through or not, factoring in time zone differences for interviews ... the list of possible technical glitches goes on.

So my advice is to choose both, if at all possible: select a nearby and affordable in-person job fair, and as many virtual job fairs as you can attend. This way you would get the benefits of both types of fairs, all the while meeting a lot of school leaders for possible employment down the road. Did you know that some recruiting agencies even offer free and in-person job fairs? For more information, take a look at the list of recruiting agencies I created in my post "Where to find an international teaching position?"

Still not sure what to do? I'm here to help! In addition to video-calling you to discuss your options and answer your questions, I also edit your resume and cover letter to highlight your best features to put your candidacy on top. I work directly with you so that you stand out in the crowd. You can find my affordable service packages here. And don't hesitate to contact me for any questions you might have.

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