Going Virtual

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Taking the job hunt online

While the traditional job fair experience is still a very successful recruiting tool for companies seeking new talent, taking the experience to the web has steadily gained popularity for employers and job seekers alike for its effectiveness and convenience.

As we move closer to a paperless world, companies are catching on—many have ditched hard-copy resumés and applications altogether in favor of digital recruiting, video interviews and virtual networking.

Louis Johnson, a 26-year Navy veteran who recently transitioned from a life of military service to the civilian workforce, found a position he called the “last piece of a puzzle” through a DAV/Veteran Recruiting Virtual Career Fair.

Johnson, who landed a new career with Johnson Controls Inc. after a virtual career fair, said the convenience of the virtual environment was very appealing to him.

“The ease of seeing the employers and when they would be online to conduct the career fairs made this easy for me,” said Johnson. “I understood not every company was a good fit for me, so I was able to see the schedule and pick the career fair by the company that I thought I would be a good fit with.”

The accessibility of the web has truly created a job seeker’s market, and many companies—including Johnson Controls Inc., which pledged to hire between 1,000 and 3,000 veterans in the next five years—have further expanded opportunities for prior military members by introducing veteran hiring initiatives.

“When we think of a diverse workforce, increasingly it will be inclusive of veterans who can bring so many assets to our company,” said Grady Crosby, Johnson Controls vice president and public affairs and chief diversity officer.

The commitment the company made to hire veterans played to Johnson’s advantage. Johnson said about a month after his online interaction, he was interviewed and hired.

“Louis’ story illustrates how valuable and convenient virtual career fairs are for transitioning veterans or veterans who can’t attend a traditional career fair,” said DAV National Employment Director Jeff Hall. “He was able to interact with employers in real time, post his qualifications and land meaningful employment. This is how the system was designed, and I encourage any veteran seeking employment to consider our virtual job-searching environment.”

Johnson advised fellow veterans to not limit themselves to employment opportunities that line up directly with their military career field, as his new career has nothing to do with his former military job.

“If a veteran strictly tries to stay within their [military occupational specialty], they may be cutting themselves short,” said Johnson. “Many veterans gain skills, such as leadership and management and a plethora more, that is separate from an MOS and may be applied elsewhere.”


Learn More Online

Dates and information regarding virtual career fairs can be found at jobs.dav.org.