Job fairs seem like a great place to meet potential employers in a real face-to-face capacity, a rarity for most modern job seekers. However, can a job really be found in this massive cattle call?
Yes and no. It depends on what your career is and who your target employers are.
Demand Draws Employers
If you are seeking a job in a high demand field, such as health care, a job fair can be a good way in the door. Similarly, employers who’s jobs see a lot of turnover, such as customer service, will be there to fill jobs quickly.
Most job fairs attract the larger employers; in the Denver area, Dish Network usually set up a booth to attract candidates for their large customer service center in Colorado. Similarly, the Army will often set up large recruitment stations at local job fairs.
Many job fairs draw companies that have demanding career paths. In some cases, these jobs are opportunities to “be your own boss,” such as insurance sales or other commissioned sales jobs.
Employers in this category are in constant need of “new blood” since it is difficult for new salesman to get started and make an impact right away, especially if they have not done sales in any capacity before. This is not to say that it is impossible to make a living in a new sales career; it is just usually more demanding than many people realize.
Another category of exhibitors are actually trying to sell something to the attendees. These can range from resume services to colleges or technical programs. As the economy grows tighter on jobs, the amount of products to job seekers increases.
In some cases, an employer has a tough job to fill, simply because the right mix of skills and experience can be hard to find. Engineering firms is a classic example of this type of niche job. In many cases, niche employers are active at college-based job fairs to catch the latest talent hitting the market.
Look Before You Go
Many job fairs will let people view the exhibitors before the event. One in particular, Choice Career Fairs, also allows attendees to register in advance to ensure admittance. For a listing of several upcoming job fairs, check out Career FairsInColorado.com, although this is not a comprehensive list. Jobing.com also has successful job fairs focused on Colorado candidates.