Career Fairs Aren’t Necessarily Dead
It is easy enough to write off career fairs as a thing of the past, a relic of olden times before internet job boards made finding opportunities so much easier. It seems that every professional career expert touts the use of technology in finding work, pushing the latest jobs app or a new website with a unique twist. While the internet can certainly help one find employment, career fairs can be equally as fruitful for the recently unemployed. As a matter of fact, by virtue of being unpopular, these fairs can actually offer unique opportunities for the motivated job seeker.
Internet sites have simply made it too easy for us to apply for jobs. With just a few clicks of a button, we can send our resume to countless companies, the majority of which are swamped with countless applicants doing the same thing that we’re doing. How can we break this chain? Perhaps the best approach is to go back to the old way of meeting someone face to face. Yes, that is rather innovative for those of us who have come to rely upon social networking and mobile apps to communicate to everyone in our lives. But interpersonal communication has a certain appeal that can’t be replaced. Meeting someone for the first time allows for you to make an indelible impression on them, which is often the edge you need to land a job. That is the power of career fairs
While it is true that lucrative work isn’t usually offered through fairs, these events still provide plenty of opportunities for those of us looking for entry level positions. For the most part, presenting yourself in a professional manner and speaking well can often be enough to impress these hiring managers. These managers are usually inundated with dozens or more applications for one position, which they have to painstakingly go through and choose from ahead of a job interview. For them, meeting new potential applicants in person before the interview is a rare treat, so they’ll respond warmly to a professional looking job seeker who has the initiative to do more than simply email a cliche filled resume.
Because there are so many companies represented in one place, these fairs also provide you with the opportunity to make numerous meaningful professional connections at one time. These connections can often start with a conversation and lead to great things. Simply put, you can’t make these kinds of connections through sites like LinkedIn, which generally work by reinforcing already existing relationships instead of building newer ones in any meaningful way. Sure, you can have a million virtual friends on Facebook, but none of them are going to help you the way one professional relationship can when things get rough.
Career fairs are throwbacks from the days when people really talked to one another and communicated in ways beyond simply typing out something on a cell phone or keyboard. For the applicant who can make a good initial impression, these fairs can be life altering, as they open up new doors of opportunity that you may have never imagined possible when simply sending out digital resumes. So take a chance, put on your best suit, and make sure your smile still works. Hitting a couple of fairs over the weekend may be your ticket to a dream job.