Virtual career fair features 5,000 jobs for vets

Tuesday - 10/19/2010, 9:40am EDT

Kevin O'Brien, Vice President, Business Development, UBM Studios

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By Suzanne Kubota
Senior Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com

Imagine a job fair with nearly 60 employers offering about 5,000 jobs to more than 25,000 veterans, all in one day. That would take a huge venue and would be nearly a nightmare of logistics.

Hold that same job fair online and you have the Veterans Day Virtual Career Fair sponsored by the Military Officers Association of America and Milicruit.

For veterans transitioning to the private sector, translating skills from the military is "a challenge," said Kevin O'Brien, Vice President of Business Development at UBM Studios, which runs Milicruit.

The unemployment rate among military veterans is currently about twice the national unemployment rate.

O'Brien told Federal News Radio, there are "employers out there that do want to hire them. It's just a matter of bringing them together."

A lot of these folks are coming out of the service with tremendous training, work well in a team environment, they're extremely disciplined, they're focused, they've worked in very high-stress situations, obviously, and hiring them is not only the moral thing to do but it's good for the bottom line. The veterans are some of the best employees that major organizations have ever hired and more of them need to look to veterans first.

How it Works

The virtual career fair works very much like a traditional one, said O'Brien. Basically, he said, it's a resume exchange, but better. "If you think about an injured or disabled veteran, they have a tough time getting to and from a particular location."

Veterans can register to attend, browse booths, chat with recruiters, and upload resumes all online. Employers will then have all the information they need to follow up with the vets after the event and can interact in real time the day of the live event on Nov. 4th.

"The only cap is, for bandwidth reasons, we'll only let 2,500 in at a time, which is not a problem because people are logging in and logging back out," said O'Brien.

Pitfalls

The biggest issue O'Brien said he's noticed for participants "is understanding that it is truly a virtual career fair. It's not a job board. So when you're in these employer booths, conduct yourself like you would at a live career fair. Have your questions prepared. Have your resume on hand. Know what the company's about before you're reaching out to the recruiters. Just like you would any other traditional career fair, go in and do your homework and understand who you're speaking with."

Details

    Date: November 4, 2010
    Time:11-16 EST
    Until: Available until Nov 11th
    Location: Anywhere with internet access
    Site: veteranscareerfair.com

This story is part of Federal News Radio's daily DoD Report brought to you by Dell. For more defense news, click here.