Javascript is not enabled.

Javascript must be enabled to use this site. Please enable Javascript in your browser and try again.

Skip to content
Content starts here
Leaving Website

You are now leaving and going to a website that is not operated by AARP. A different privacy policy and terms of service will apply.

5 Tips to Get Hired at an Online Job Fair

How to get ready for AARP's online career expo on Sept. 30

spinner image A sign that says job fair
Getty Images

Looking for a job is rarely easy. Trying to find one in the middle of a global pandemic with high unemployment might seem impossible.

One option that can help job seekers connect with employers conveniently is a virtual job fair. These events — which can be found by searching online job boards, LinkedIn or the websites of large employers, for example — give you the opportunity to meet with recruiters over the internet and participate in webinars that help you learn about how to build skills that can help you land a job.

spinner image Image Alt Attribute

AARP Membership— $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal

Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine. Find out how much you could save in a year with a membership. Learn more.

Join Now

At 1 p.m. ET on Thursday, Sept. 30, AARP will host an online career expo, "Staying Competitive and Relevant for What’s Next." With such widespread job losses over the past 18 months, many older adults are desperately seeking employment. According to the Pew Research Center, roughly half of those who lost jobs during the pandemic were still unemployed by mid-August 2020. The survey found that 41 percent of adults age 50 and older say that either they or someone in their household had lost a job due to the pandemic.

The massive job losses, a widespread shift to working from home and the risks essential workers have to navigate mean that people looking for jobs will have to learn some new techniques. AARP’s expo is one way workers can get up to speed.

"We’re back for another great expo featuring mini-webinars on a range of topics from finding government jobs to best work-from-home tips. Hear from Indeed about which jobs are in demand, and from Daymond John about building success through networking,” says Heather Tinsley-Fix, AARP senior advisor for financial resilience. “There also will be tons of content to help you stay competitive in the job market as well as opportunities to connect to fellow job seekers and share tips and strategies via our chats. And don’t forget to check out our hiring employers. These companies are hiring now and want to hear from you."

There will be many employers participating in AARP's expo, including FEMA, Humana, and Bed Bath & Beyond. The event is free and can be accessed by phone, tablet or computer.

To make the best impression on recruiters during an online job fair, it's best to do some prep work before you log in to the event. Here are five tips to help you get ready for a virtual job fair.

1. Get your résumé ready for recruiters

In recent years, it has become common practice to customize your résumé for each job you apply for. That way you can make certain that your résumé includes many of the same keywords that appear in the job posting, which can help you get noticed by the software that does the initial search for the most qualified candidates. For an online job fair, unless you're only looking for a specific type of job opening, you may want to consider using a résumé that describes your job skills and work experience more broadly. That could open doors with more of the recruiters who are participating. Learn more about some quick fixes you might make to your résumé.

Work & Jobs

AARP Job Board

Search job opportunities for experienced workers

See more Work & Jobs offers >

2. Polish up your social media profiles

First impressions often make a big difference in who gets hired. While your résumé might be the initial contact you make with recruiters at an online job fair, many of them will quickly move to social media networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram to get a better sense of your background and personality. Before the job fair, take some time to update your LinkedIn profile, making sure that it includes any new professional achievements. Also, be sure to review your other social media accounts to edit or remove any posts that include content that might make an employer hesitant to hire — suggestive photos, heated personal arguments or political opinions, for example.

3. Make sure your Wi-Fi is ready

Don't let technical difficulties get in the way of successful job networking. In most cases, you won't be able to log in to the job fair before it starts. That means you can't make sure the software works well on your phone, tablet or computer in advance. But you can check that your wireless internet speed is maximized before the job fair. The FCC recently offered these tips for improving your Wi-Fi connection.

4. Be ready to be on camera

Most of the communication during an online job fair happens via text chats. But if a recruiter thinks you might be a good fit, he or she might ask you to do a quick video interview on the spot. While you don't need to dress up in your best business attire for the job fair, you should be certain that you're camera-ready if an employer asks. Looking for tips on how to ace a video job interview? This article has some advice.

5. Follow through on follow-up

The strength of online fairs is that they let job seekers meet with many recruiters quickly. But those recruiters also will have many candidates that they have to keep in mind. Sending a thank you note or follow-up email is one way you show an employer that you're serious about the job opportunity. Remind the recruiters of details from your discussions, highlight your skills and experience that fit the job opening and ask about any potential next steps.

Editor’s note: This article originally was published on Sept. 28, 2020. It has been updated with information about the September 2021 job fair.

Discover AARP Members Only Access

Join AARP to Continue

Already a Member?