After a successful run in January, DirectEmployers Association and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) are excited to once again host the National Labor Exchange Military Online Career Fair. Allowing veterans, transitioning military and military family job seekers to chat one-on-one with Fortune 500 and 1000 companies, this virtual event is a convenient alternative to traditional, in-person events. This event is set to take place Thursday, April 11, 2013 from 12:00pm-3:00pm EDT. Military servicemembers interested in attending can register for free online.

For those who may be new to this type of event, here’s the rundown on how it works:

Each employer will have a virtual booth with company information, and open positions. You can simply browse their information or choose to “get in line” to speak with a recruiter if you are interested in their organization. When it is your turn, you will automatically be entered into a chat room with the recruiter from the company, at which time you will have eight minutes to make a great impression!

Don’t worry if you’re new to the online career fair. We’ve got some tips to help make your experience a success!

Register ahead of time and log on early- Registration involves completing a profile and uploading your resume. Be sure to do this ahead of time so that you can take full advantage of the event right when it begins.

Do your research- A list of the participating companies is made available prior to the event. Scope out the companies you may have an interest in, do your research about their company and prepare questions you may want to ask!

Prepare responses in advance- You know the question is coming… “So tell me about yourself.” While some of your responses should be tailored to the specific situation, preparing answers to a few of the more general questions (think employment history, strengths/weaknesses, goals, etc.) ahead of time is a great way to save time. Simply copy and paste! The quicker you get through the basics, the more time you have to talk to other employers at the event.

Be professional- While these events may seem informal, it is important to still be professional, as if you were face-to-face with the recruiter. Always use proper grammar, but don’t fret over honest typing mistakes. Just stay calm and type slowly!

Get in multiple lines- To maximize your experience, get it as many lines as possible. If you are talking with someone when it is your turn with another company, you won’t lose your place in line! You will simply be next when you are once again available.

Show relevance- For those who aren’t as familiar with the military, it is essential that you show relevancy between your military experience and the type of job you are seeking. What skills or values have your experience instilled in you, which you can apply to your career?

Share your experience- Show your interest by sharing your positive experience with a company on your social media profiles. For example, tweet at the company or tag the company’s Facebook page in your post. This shows excitement and initiative that helps you stand out from the crowd!

Want more interview tips and job seeking advice? Check out these videos on our YouTube channel for great suggestions from reputable employers, and be sure to register for our Online Military Career Fair taking place on Thursday, April 11th!