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story.lead_photo.caption The 2020 Virtual Arkansas Statewide Job Fair, presented by several Arkansas newspapers, provides job seekers the opportunity to view open positions, research employers and apply for jobs.

Job seekers across Arkansas are in for an innovative approach to finding a new career, visiting with employers and getting their resumes in front of multiple employers easily and quickly by attending the 2020 Virtual Arkansas Statewide Job Fair, presented by Arkansas' premier newspapers: the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the El Dorado News-Times, the Texarkana Gazette, the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record, The Camden News, the Pine Bluff Commercial and the Magnolia Banner-News.

Typically a one-day event at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Job Fair has helped employers and job seekers connect for more than 20 years. This year, because of the outbreak of COVID-19, event organizers will host a virtual event that begins Tuesday and runs for 30 days. This event will allow job hunters to explore job opportunities from their homes.

"Due to current changes in our community and regulations for venues and indoor events, we have seen many events have to cancel," said Amanda Copley, marketing and events director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. "However, it is also our priority to bring job seekers and recruiters together. And this year, we will be doing it from across the state online."

So how does a virtual job fair work? Similar to the live events, job seekers will virtually walk up to a booth to learn about the employer's openings and chat with employers through the chat features. You can get a jump on your search by registering online at jobsarkansas.careerfair.live. There, you can see the employers who will be taking part in the fair and upload your resume prior to the event kickoff.

Visitors can participate in a number of typical job-fair activities, including chatting with employers and applying and browsing for relevant job openings, all while staying safe. This year, there is a live chat feature for the first two days of the event. From 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday and from 1-4 p.m. Wednesday, job seekers can visit the booth of an employer and choose to chat with the recruiter. The event is free, and a variety of employers statewide will be represented at the fair.

Once logged on, job seekers can see job postings from employers throughout Arkansas. From there, the job hunters can select the jobs they are interested in to learn more about the job listing, the company and how to apply for a position. A search function also allows job seekers to narrow their choices by location and category. The job fair will be periodically updated with new employers, so it's important for job seekers to continue checking back to the site.

"The virtual job fair will allow applicants to network, search and apply for jobs offered statewide from the comfort and safety of their homes," Copley said. "No need to dress up. Just visit the site, and start your job search."

Job seekers can also visit jobsarkansas.com year-round. The website, hosted by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, is Arkansas' only statewide job board that connects with local employers anytime.

"The job market is difficult — especially now — but the job fair is here to help ease this burden on both job seekers and recruiters," Copley said. "The Jobs Arkansas section and website are great resources for job seekers and employers."

( Visit jobsarkansas.careerfair.live online for more information about this year's Virtual Arkansas Statewide Job Fair.)

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