Virtual job fairs are becoming the hot new employment trend. WorkSource near Jacksonville, Florida is just one of a growing number of staffing companies, municipalities, educational communities and employers that have begun sponsoring online job fairs for either traditional onsite or virtual workers.

According to Jacksonville’s First Coast News, WorkSource, in partmership with Florida State College, has hosted 15 virtual job fairs. The September event, which posted 829 jobs offered by 95 employers, drew more than 42,000 site visits and 2,131 job applications. Like many such sites, WorkSource offers resume building help, job seeking tips and an online chat feature that allows employers and job applicants to meet.

While some virtual job fairs like those sponsored by WorkSource focus on offering jobs in specific communities, many online career events cast a broader net, offering virtual employment to workers across the nation and even around the world. Such events can be a gold mine for freelancers, contract workers and people who prefer to work from home. Events that target virtual workers provide valuable employment opportunities for anyone with a computer, internet connection and skills to sell. If you are marketing yourself on Zoondy, virtual job fairs can provide leads to potential clients.

A growing number of companies are using online job fairs to match workers to specific job skills. Many hiring officers have also found the online hiring process to be more efficient than traditional methods, allowing them to cull through and vet applications more quickly to select a short list of applications for further interview.

Workers too are showing a preference for virtual job fairs. Not only can fairs be accessed 24 hours a day, offering job applicants greater scheduling flexibility; but applicants don’t have to waste an entire day standing in line to meet prospective employers. Online job fairs typically are organized by job field or company name, allowing applicants to quickly hone in on their field of interest. Not only do virtual “booths” offer information about the company and positions available, many include explanatory videos and live chats with recruiters, department managers or executives with direct hiring oversight.