Virtual job fair offers Tampa Bay area veterans more options for employment

Fair moved from in-person to online amid pandemic
RecruitMilitary job fair
Posted at 8:13 AM, Jul 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 19:31:36-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Searching for a job can be one in itself.

Thurday's Virtual Career Fair for Veterans is aiming to ease the stress and worry for Tampa Bay area residents.

The mixture of a pandemic and historic unemployment numbers can make the task of getting hired seem daunting. Chris Stevens with RecruitMilitary wants people to know it doesn't have to be.

"We're really surprised at how successful this is. You know getting into it just a few months ago," Stevens said.

Prior to the pandemic, Stevens said virtual job fairs were rarely used. RecruitMilitary normally holds in-person job fairs, including annually at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

Because of COVID-19, many companies changed the way they scout out employees and employers.

If online conference calls are intimidating, Stevens said you are not alone.

"I myself, when I was put in charge of this thing, I'm like, I don't even know how to turn on a chat room. What is a chatroom?" Stevens said.

Veterans and their spouses can opt to take a free webinar prior to Thursday's virtual job fair to get a better understanding of how the conference calls will work.

"I am just thankful that we had this platform that like I said we used maybe once or twice a month last year and now we're using three or four times a week," Stevens said.

Thursday's job fair is free and open to active military members, reservists, veterans and their spouses.

Stevens anticipates about 45 businesses ready to hire, from Lowes to Pepsi to Amazon, will participate in the Virtual Career Fair for Veterans. Those who are interested need to register and have their resumes ready to upload.

"It takes 30 to 45 seconds. Maybe five or six simple questions. Add the resume. It's important," Stevens said. "It's important because when clients are reaching out within that chatroom they can see the profile of that veteran or spouse. They will just click on a button and they want to review the resume while they're talking to you. If there's no resume they will probably go to the next candidate."

For more information about the virtual job fair including how to register and a list of participating companies, click here.