Do career fairs work? Almost all job seekers have this question on their minds. This article provides you with reasons for this doubt and also helps you fair well in a job fair. Read on!

Do Career Fairs Work

Career fairs are podiums where prospective employers and employees meet with an intention to either get jobs or give jobs. Though job fairs are welcomed warmly, the efficacy of the concept is still debatable. Even huge job portals cannot confirm the success of job fairs because there is no perfect formula for the conversion rate. Far from the concept of a traditional job hunt, job fairs are more like expos with stalls and booths of various companies waiting for candidates to visit them. A general screen-shot of a job fair reveals a picture of company booths overcrowded with desperate job seekers. In some cases, job hunters may not find an opportunity to meet the representatives in person because of this over congested situation. Many a times, jobseekers have to simply leave their resumes on the table and wait for the interview call. However, most of these fairs are launched with good intentions. For example the national career tour launched by declared its mission as “to help rebuild American workforce”. This article discusses the reasons for the controversial success of job fairs and provides some tips to make the fair work for you.
Job Fair Success
It is almost impossible to give a generalized statement on the success or failure of job fairs because there is neither any statistic regarding the conversion rates in a job fair nor any obligation for the employers to report back on the number of people hired through the fair. However, there is no doubt that many people manage to get jobs through such congregations. Career expo is ideal for entry level job opportunities and fresh graduates while higher posts are generally filled through traditional job hunt and selection methods. The success of job fairs depends upon the number of employers participating, the number of job seekers visiting the fair, total number of job openings and also the number of people hired. However, some people believe that these fairs are not the ideal platforms to find jobs. Reasons for this argument are discussed below:
Job Seekers’ Woes –
  • First of all, the job seekers who visit the fairs find it difficult to meet the recruiters because of the multitude of people swarming the area. In many cases, job seekers have to wait for quite a long time to meet the representatives which makes the situation chaotic.
  • If at all the job seekers are successful in grabbing an opportunity to face the company’s spokesperson in a job fair then in most of the cases they face a very short screening interview which usually lasts about 3 minutes.
  • Company representatives may provide the people with brochures and business cards instead of accepting resume or interviewing the candidate. This is not much appreciated by the job seekers.
  • Some companies contact the job seekers after months. This is not appreciated as most of the candidates come looking for urgent placements.
Job Providers Say –
  • Searching an application in a database is easier than sifting through the resumes collected at the fair.
  • Online applications usually have fewer errors than those scanned by the HR in the job fair.
  • Career expo may or may not fit today’s economic climate owing to the nature of specialized skills that even the simplest of jobs require these days.
  • Many people seem to simply walk-in to the expo and drop their resume without proper research and home work. For them, the expo means nothing but their callousness costs the quality time of the employers as well as the serious job seekers.
Consultancies Worry Because –
  • Usually job consultants take initiative of coordinating career fairs. Some establishments take advantage of this opportunity to market their businesses instead of showing interest in recruitment thereby defeating the very purpose of such fairs.
  • In some cases, job seekers use this opportunity to learn about potential candidates so that they can keep them in channel to use in case of expansion. They usually do not have any opportunity to offer on spot.
Tips To Make Them Work
Whether or not job fairs work for others, as long as you manage to get a job in one of these, you mustn’t lose faith. The chances may be slim but you must go well prepared:
  • First come, first serve! Make sure that you reach the venue early i.e., in the first half of the day. If the fair is more than a day long, then reach there on the first day itself to avoid the late coming traffic.
  • Be prepared! Take all the required documents with you so that your candidature is considered complete. You would be surprised to know how few people actually conform to all the candidacy norms of the companies in a fair.
  • An attractive resume along with a precise and smart cover letter is what you need to attract attention to yourself. Highlight all the important details and list all your skills in a catchy manner. This will set you apart from the non-serious crowd.
  • Be patient! Don’t let long queues get to your head. Understand that you’re not the only one looking for a job and empathize with those around you. Don’t lose your cool or create a scene – temper won’t lead you anywhere good.
Career fairs are common across the globe. Though debated for efficacy, they are looked upon quite a bit by the job seekers. And if you can make the fairs work for you then you needn’t even bother with this debate.

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