Virtual networking has been around for some time and is here to stay due to the ease it gives both cleared candidate and recruiters. For those who stuck to in-person job fairs before the pandemic, or military personnel not accustomed to online exchanges, there are a number of things you should be keeping in mind, and similarly, things you should avoid like the plague.

Best Approach for Networking Events

ClearanceJobs was joined by one of the experts on obtaining a security clearance career through virtual networking or job fairs. The ClearanceJobs Virtual Career Events team manages these events, obtains feedback from cleared employers, and surveys candidates on what they are looking for – some chatter online has been that some recruiters love them, and some cleared candidates don’t see the value. But one thing is agreed upon between both recruiters and cleared candidates, and it’s that after COVID-19, employers should take a hybrid approach when it comes to recruiting cleared talent through networking events.

Are candidates ready for in person events?

Through a pulse check to the ClearanceJobs following, we found that candidates have mixed opinions about career fairs – about half agreeing that they should take a hybrid approach.

Is ClearanceJobs going to hold more in person eventually?

While the ClearanceJobs Career Event calendar is stacked full of virtual events every month, in-person events with defense contractors like Leidos, Deloitte, or Booz Allen Hamilton, and federal agencies like the FBI, DoJ, or the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, will hold in-person, private events to reach cleared talent.

The Dos and donts for virtual networking

Candidates should pay attention to social cues, especially in a virtual environment where they may not be as easily read. For example, never comment on a recruiter’s appearance or be mindful when you’re starting to take more time and the conversation should continue after the career fair.

Do’s:

  • Update your resume prior to the event
  • Register in advance to review clients’ booths and see what available jobs the client is offering
  • Dress professionally
  • Visit more than one company at our events – there could be a hidden gem

Don’ts:

  • Rush chat conversations – this is your chance to connect LIVE with a hiring manager
  • Be afraid to ask to take your conversation to an audio or video call

Be sure to download ClearanceJobs’ virtual job seeker guide for more information.

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Katie Keller is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 8+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸