are job fairs worth it?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Pickleodeon, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. Pickleodeon

    Pickleodeon Rookie

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    Feb 13, 2010

    Are job fairs a great way to meet recruiters and get an in? Or will I be lost in a sea of 1000 other job-seekers?

    My predicament is that I'll be starting a job next week, the 22nd. It's not a teaching job, it's customer service, with a 7 week training program (it's a paycheck and unfortunately, that's the important thing right now until I can teach). I was told I cannot miss any training days, or they can fire me. So.. I don't know if I should just say, oh well, guess I can't go to job fairs, or try to figure out some way to go to them.

    There are a few coming up in March, one is through my university, and I'd like to go if it's going to get me a teaching job for next year. Thoughts?
     
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  3. Alisha

    Alisha Cohort

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    Feb 13, 2010

    I think it can do nothing, but help...that said, I've never gone to a job fair, although I'm thinking about going this year. I need all the help I can get. I'm interested to see what others will say about this.
     
  4. beatlebug731

    beatlebug731 Comrade

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    Feb 13, 2010

    Pickleodeon, I think that you should talk to this employer. I think that attending a job fair will be of a huge benefit for you, and I think that this particular employer should understand that. Think of it this way: Not very many people plan on staying in retail forever, and most employers are aware of this. Ha that's funny, we live in the same area and my university's having a job fair this March. I wonder if we went to the same university? Wouldn't that be funny!!
     
  5. guest_teacher

    guest_teacher Rookie

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    Feb 13, 2010

    I may be in the minority, but I don't think that job fairs are particularly helpful, even in good economic times. It is very hard to make oneself stand out in a job fair.

    In the current economy, it is likely that there will be more candidates and fewer school districts than in the past, at each event. The school district functionaries in attendence will probably have even less hiring discretion than in the past. They will be handing out their remaining stocks of dried-out ball-point pens, fridge magnets with pictures of sunsets in their communities, and brochures with meaningless headlines like "The dream is real..."

    Candidates will be invited to visit district Web sites and apply online when they get back home. By the end of the day, each school district bureaucrat will have greeted several hundred eager young teachers, and will have a hard time remembering any of them, because their profiles will have been so similar.

    If you could attend a job fair without sacrificing a day's pay or incurring any expenses, it might be fun to be a fly on the wall, but I wouldn't ask to be excused from a training workshop for a brand-new and financially necessary job to attend a teacher job fair!
     
  6. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    Feb 13, 2010

    I think that job fairs can be helpful and make you feel like you are doing something in your job search. But in your situation I wouldn't worry about it; you should just make sure to apply to all of the districts that you're interested in that will be attending the fair.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 13, 2010

    AT the very least, get the info on the job fairs, and send a cover letter/ resume to every single district and school that will be represented. Mention how you're unable to attend the fair because of a committment to your current job, but would love the opportunity to meet with their representative, possibly a day or two beforehand??
     
  8. nattyj21

    nattyj21 Companion

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    Feb 16, 2010

    If you can swing going, I would. If nothing else it gives you experience talking with principals and HR reps. It lets you know what these places are looking for, gets your face and name out there, and shows that you are interested in their district. It also gives you contact information and point of contact can be a start to getting in the door of a school.
    If you can not go, go with Alice's suggestion. It extends the places to apply and gives them a chance to look over your credentials (rather than just sending it in or online). You never know who might be interested in hiring you.
     
  9. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Feb 16, 2010

    I've received interviews from job fairs and think just meeting with some reps from the districts is worth it. However, if you can't go, I like Alice's suggestion :)
     
  10. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    Feb 17, 2010

    I think job fairs can be a good thing, although I have only ever had one interview at a job fair and I didnt even get a call back for a second interview. Having said that I did meet with my new superintendent at a job fair. I didn't know that he was the super at the time. I just thought he was the HR rep. He was very polite, asked me several questions told me to contact one of the principals in a a few days. (Which I did) but nothing ever came about at that time. It wasn't until a few months later when I emailed another principal directly from that same district that I got an interview and my current job. But I will tell you the only reason why I even applied for my current position was because I remembered meeting with the super at that job fair, had a done a little research on the district, and thought what the heck I have nothing to loose.
     
  11. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Feb 17, 2010

    Ok...this is how I would reply if my daughter (who just attended her first job fair today) was asking the same question.

    What is your ultimate goal? Teaching or this other field? What I hear in your posting is that this other job is something that you will do UNTIL a teaching job comes through. Whichever be the case...go for ANY and ALL opportunities to pursue your FIRST choice.

    Will you get hired from this job fair? 98% chance - no. But what it WILL give you is a chance to get out there, experience mini-teaching interviews, size up your competition (just looking at them helps you to see what the people interviewing you will see - over and over again. Last year there was a man who was standing in line who was dressed like he stopped in on the way to the golf course. No matter how sharp he was dressed, standing amongst suited job candidates...he looked foolish! Bet HE learned a lesson! But if you see TONS of folks in black suits and white tops - you might understand that to stand out you need to wear something professional but SLIGHTLY different. A splash of color? A slightly different color blazer? Whatever!), and meet with the schools to hear what they are looking for and what they offer.

    Personally, I HATE job fairs...but I wouldn't miss one of the three I will be going to in March.

    The answer....is up to YOU.
     
  12. Toak

    Toak Cohort

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    Feb 17, 2010

    That depends on many things - I met a recruiter at a job fair who invited me to a school job fair where he was the one making the hiring decisions and hired me.
    But some job fairs are just a bunch of schools getting their name out there. There was one in Delaware I was interested in attending but after checking out the schools I realized there was no point in going - I might as well just submit my resume/application to them all online.
     
  13. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    Feb 17, 2010

    I'm volunteering at my universities job fair in the spring. I won't even be able to interview, but am hoping helping run the fair will help get my name out before I even graduate. ANYTHING helps in this economy, and really, what harm could it do? Go. Do the best you can to stand out and put your name out there!
     
  14. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Feb 20, 2010

    I have been to 3 or 4 job fairs. I went to one that had 35 elementary schools and heard the same thing time and time again - no openings. I was so tired and ready to walk out the door. As I walked toward to door I saw one line that I hadn't been to and the woman screening looked so nice, I just had to stop by. I had a line interview (tell me about yourself) which got me a screening interview with AP. That got me a final interview with AP and P. GOT THE JOB and having worked here for 7 months LOVE IT@!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Don't discount job fairs. Had I left I would not have got a new job. I would have been stuck in the same horrible place. I got a job through a job fair with a great district - and in 2009 - the worst of worst economic times.

    just be passionate and knowledgeable.
     
  15. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Feb 20, 2010

    I think if you're willing to relocate a job fair can be well worth it. If you're only willing to stay in PA, then I'm not so sure it's worth risking losing your job. After all, the PA schools are easy enough for you to drive to and make contacts that way. If you can make it, go, but if you'll lose your job, I wouldn't. Most job fair places provide a list of districts planning to attend so you can use that as your guide.
     
  16. Beverly

    Beverly Comrade

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    Feb 20, 2010

    I went to my university's job fair last year. I had about 8 districts picked out with personalized cover letters, etc. There were so many people in line that I wasn't able to get to them all, even with being at the fair from opening to closing. (Also, I waited in line for about half an hour for one district, and then their only representative left for lunch, and this was an hour before the fair was supposed to end. Definite waste of time). Most representatives did not appreciate people dropping off their resumes while they were chatting with someone else. There were no formal interviews or appointments. Another district told me that they didn't have any current openings (and wouldn't until the summer- this was about February) after I waited in line and got up to the table. It was nice to meet them and learn about the district, but it didn't really increase my chances of getting an interview or anything like that.
     
  17. Beverly

    Beverly Comrade

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    Feb 20, 2010

    That was my experience also- the people at the tables typically weren't involved in the hiring process, and many of the districts listed on my college Career Services website as being registered for the fair didn't even show up.
     
  18. isthisrob

    isthisrob Rookie

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    Feb 21, 2010

    Once

    I got a good job through a math/science job fair. I got the list of districts that were there and compared it to my own list of good school districts in my area. I talked to as many people as I could and sent resumes by mail to the districts I did not get to. Two months later, I was called in for an interview and placed as a long-term sub in a middle school on a trial basis for the last five weeks of the school year, teaching 8th grade math. They offered me a full-time position at the end of the year.

    I ended up working there for two years. Loved it, but was let go because the math chair didn't like my style and said I dd not know how to reach low-achieving students. I just found out that the school's state test scores went up 13% in my second year there, putting the lie to her ideas about me.
     
  19. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Feb 21, 2010

    i just think you have to make sure you can make yourself stand out in the crowd....
     

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