[06.30.11] Job Fairs - Useful or Useless [Featured]

[Unemployment Intervention] Job Fairs: Useful or Useless?


Job Fairs: Useful or Useless? | CAREEREALISM TVLast week, a friend of our new revolution, “Unemployment Intervention” shared with us her excitement about attending an upcoming job fair being put together by her local Congressman. The day after the job fair, we got a disappointing follow-up e-mail from her telling us she found the event a waste of time. Primarily, her dissatisfaction stemmed from the fact employers at the job fair weren’t taking resumes. What?! We found that impossible to believe and decided to call the Congressman’s office to see if this was the case. As it turns out, some employers were taking resumes, but others weren’t. This got us thinking:

Are job fairs a waste of time?

Watch this episode of Unemployment Intervention where we discuss:

  • What isn’t “fair” about job fairs.
  • 4 steps a job seeker can take to turn a job fair from “useless” to “useful.”

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  1. The most effective thing a job fair organizer can do is to list positions and employers when sending out announcements about an up coming fair. Then, we can apply that day and when we go to the fair, we can remind the employer who you are and THAT you have applied.

    The thing job fairs can do for ME is have more industries represented. I am a designer and most job fairs have the same industries or positions every time: Clerical, sales, entry level IT. As one person posted, that is a waste of gas we can not afford.

  2. Nottoohappywithjobfairs

    Job Fairs are very disappointing and have been over the last year.

    Reps tell us that we should take a look at their company website. Question: then why are you here?
    Reps are sitting, sometimes hanging over their table, dressing unprofessionally, and seem not being able to talk in a complete sentence.  Question: didn’t they teach YOU about first impression? Who sends these people out?
    I ask the Reps what the company does and I get doe eyes. Question: Did YOU do YOUR homework?

    Sometimes the ad for the Fairs are:’meet your employers’ and there are only 10 companies, which are:
    Insurance Sales – Commission ONLY
    Multi-Level Marketing
    School / Universities
    Non-profit – and not on the higher scales
    On Line Learning
    US Army, Marines, etc.

    With the cost of gas, it is truly a waste of time.

    Looking at the comments that it’s cost prohibitive because ‘we have to get those resume’s into our database’. Excuse me, but then why are you there.

    I’ve heard from  experienced (yes, older workers) that the reps don’t seem to be interested in them when they approach their table.


  3. I too find job fairs as nothing more than resume collection centers, for what purpose I don’t know, because everything is online & electronic now.  I don’t even think people read the entire resume anyway & just use software to keyword search, so they do not get the whole context.  Can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked ..”have you looked at our website…?”.  Duh…YES, but I’m here now wanting to talk to a LIVE person!  If they point you to their website to apply, then why the heck are they here?  A waste of time & gas.

  4. As an employer, I can tell you some reasons for this phenomenon.  First, as with anything else, having resume’s in a database is a far more efficient way to manage all the resumes a company receives than manually keeping them.  Second, if we take resumes at a job fair, then we have to get those resume’s into our database.  This is either very time consuming or cost prohibitive to do.  So, sending applicants online is one of the only remedies.  However, I understand from a job seekers point of view that doesn’t really help in your job search.  So, here is what I recommend.  Ask if they will accept your resume and commit to ALSO go online to apply (reminding them in your online resume that you met them at the job faire and you talked about so and so).  I accept resume’s in person, but do request they also go online.  In that way, I can make notes to remember the person with their resume, but they will do their own data entry work for me so that I can look them up in my system.

    Good luck at your next job fair!

    • Thank you for sharing that info! I love when we get perspective from all sides. Hearing the employers situation can help us create a better job fair experience for all parties. Great stuff!

  5. I live in the St. Louis, MO area and this is how the job fairs are here as well. You get dressed up, spruce up your resume, memorize your 60 second infomercial just to get told that postings are listed on their website and you can apply there!

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