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Virtual career fairs deserve consideration from Black professionals serious about optimizing their careers even during these challenging times. Up until early last year (2019), I associated career fairs with booths filled with bored-looking recruiters seeking entry-level applicants in fluorescent-lit hotel basements. And that was my optimistic association: moderately useful for college students (and the companies looking for them) — absolutely useless for anyone with more experience, brand and network.

However, I changed my mind when it came to virtual career fairs and had such an "ah-ha" moment that my business partner (Michael DeFlorimonte, founder of the African American Employee Network) and I launched a platform called Black Virtual Career Fair last year. The current pandemic has only increased my belief that virtual career fairs are important tools for Black talent.

Here are five reasons why virtual career fairs offer value to Black talent: