Jim Grant's Blog

Help for Job Seekers – It's all about the process!

Job Fairs

I had a job seeker ask me a couple days ago what my opinion was of job fairs.

I would never tell a job seeker not to take some action in his/her job search and that includes job fairs. However, you have to go into a job fair with extremely low expectations, particularly during these difficult economic times.

It is not uncommon that several to many of the 10-50 companies who show up, don’t have openings on the day of the job fair. They may have when they committed to participate in the job fair a few months ago, but not now. Or, perhaps, the employer’s leaders feel that it is a civic duty to attend job fairs. Or, perhaps, they want to add to their file of resumes for the day when they get back into a hiring mode.

Think about this. Suppose an employer really does have job openings, maybe even a lot. In today’s job market, are they having trouble finding competent people? Hard to believe.

What I hear from job seekers, what I read in newspapers, and what I hear on TV indicates that employers are getting a couple hundred applicants for every job opening.

Also, the employer’s people who attend job fairs and typically very low ranking. You’re not likely to meet an HR Manager or an HR Director at one of these events and definitely not an VP of HR – – – And, more importantly, it will be rare that you find a Hiring Manager at a job fair.

As for the value of job fairs for senior or middle management job seekers, the higher ranking your desired job is, the less value a job fair will be. By the same token, the higher ranking a job seeker is, the more capable he/she should be in identifying Hiring Managers and contacting them directly.

If you can live with all of the above, then you ought to be going to every job fair that you find out about. (3)

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February 4, 2010 - Posted by | All, Target Employers

1 Comment »

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