What are Job Fairs Really For?

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What are Job Fairs Really For?

Postby lorax » Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:14 pm

If you missed the 2009 Green Jobs Expo in Washington, DC, don't feel too bad. I went there with 10 resumes and a coverletter with links to my online articles. Only one person was willing to accept a resume. I went up to at least 10 people and had a situation something like this: no business cards to exchange, not accepting resumes - go to our website to see if there is anything, people standing around handing out pamphlets. I don't know what the purpose of these fairs really is but I did talked to one person after I walked out. I spoke to a woman from a group called coalition for renewable energy or something like that (no business card). She was not there to look for a job. She was not there to recruit people. She was there to find out about who was exhibiting. She said that the exhibitors would not talk to her much until they found out she WAS NOT a job seeker. I did give her my resume. So you missed nothing. I really doubt that I will go to anymore job fairs if they are as bad as this one since I could do all this work online (and that is apparently what they would prefer you do).
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Re: What are Job Fairs Really For?

Postby jcjm » Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:48 am

Since no one else answered, I'll bite. It is my opinion that job fairs are for the HR dept to look busy. They do things like job fairs to look like they are doing some recruiting. Meanwhile the manager who has an opening is looking at resumes they have received from their employees (networking). Usually, the manager fills the job without looking at any of the resumes HR collects, but HR needs to look like they are doing something. That is why I don't go to job fairs.
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Re: What are Job Fairs Really For?

Postby YellowRose » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:39 pm

I found my current temp agency, and consequently the only work I've had for the last year and a half, through a job fair. I think I got lucky though, knowing nothing about them in advance. My advice for anyone thinking of attending a job fair: Do your research first. Find out what companies will be there (most will be temp agencies and sales positions) and search through their online job listings prior to going to the job fair. This is what I did. I found one position that interested me, printed it out and took it with me. I found out that position was filled, but my initiative caught the attention of the recruiter who had a new position lined up for me within 24 hours. I dropped off a few resumes with some of the other companies, but none of them ever contacted me after the job fair. I think the key is knowing what you want before you go and doing your research on the companies. It shows them that you're interested and gives you a slight edge over the hundreds of other applicants they're going to see that day.
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Re: What are Job Fairs Really For?

Postby Scenario Thinker » Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:21 am

I found a pretty good job at a job fair in 1990. It lasted over 8 years and where I got promoted to a programmer/analyst from a programmer. But, that was 1990. I think now with online resumes floating around, job fairs have probably gotten watered down a lot.
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