Apr 30, 2020 With the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all seen a shift from in-person to virtual, whether it be work, school, or career related. Just because the location and structures of these networking, interviewing or career-related events have changed, strategies to impress have remained very much the same. This week, we’re sharing some tips for Before, During and After Events, with a virtual twist to help you wow employers. Before Do your research: You wouldn’t show up to an in-person employer event without first doing your research on the company, and you shouldn’t do that virtually either. Spend some time before the event reading about the company on their website. Search for recent online news articles, plan some questions you want to ask in advance. Virtually, you have the added benefit of being able to have notes that you can refer to if needed, but your main focus should be on the event. Know where you’re going: Just as you’d take steps in advance to make sure you’re in the right place for an event, you want to do the same thing virtually. Your location is important--are you in a quiet place with good internet access where you can focus? Do your family members know you’re busy so they won’t interrupt mid-event? Test out your equipment in advance to be sure it’s all functioning properly. During the Event Be early: You wouldn’t show up at the last second for an interview, so don’t do that for a virtual event. Log in early to make sure your equipment is functioning. Silence your mic when you’re not speaking just like you’d silencing your phone at a networking event or interview--be sure to minimize distractions for yourself and others participating in the virtual event. Both these tasks will show that you’re responsible and respectful. You also won’t be that person that asks questions already covered earlier in a presentation because you’ll be present for the whole event. Look professional: Sure, pjs and t-shirts are comfortable and standard home attire, but you’ll want to be dressed professionally for employer events. If you wouldn’t wear it to meet with an employer in person, don’t wear it to a virtual event. In addition to your attire, your background can also affect your professional look. Find a neutral place (or use a neutral virtual background if you have no other option) so the focus is on you, not what’s behind you. Maintain Eye Contact: Eye contact is essential, whether it’s in person or virtually. Concentrate on the presenters, smiling and nodding just as you would during an in person conversation. Practice looking at the camera when you speak and not at the image of yourself or others on the screen. Wait for the Right Times: Wait for the host to open the floor for questions. We encourage you to prepare questions in advance or use a notepad to jot down questions, but don’t ask until you’re invited to do so. Many questions may be answered during the presentation. Don’t interrupt to ask something that could likely be addressed on the next slide! After the Event Follow Up: If you were provided with any action items during the event, be sure to complete those (a survey, applying for a position, etc). We also encourage you to follow the Employer on LinkedIn or on their Charger Path Employer Account to stay up to date with current news. Check your emails/messages: Most virtual events require RSVPs in which you’ll share your contact information. Employers are likely to reach out using these methods using the messaging feature through Charger Path or via email. If you receive a message, reply as soon as possible. Use those same skills you’d use to thank an employer you met in person-thank them for hosting the event and share something you learned or are excited about--this can help you get an interview with the company.