Job Fair

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by jen12, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Mar 14, 2016

    I'm curious as to whether anyone here has gotten their job (or a past one) through a job fair. I'm on my second year with a part-time temporary contract. I love my school and don't want to leave, and while my principal has been pretty positive about the the job being there next year, I can't keep doing this part time thing. The college I went to is holding their education job fair soon, and my mom gave me an ad for another one relatively locally.
    Is it worth the effort? I've done job fairs as a participating company when I worked in HR and it wasn't very effective for us as a recruitment strategy. I've never been on the job seeker side at one.
     
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  3. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    Mar 14, 2016

    I am a job seeker, I have never been to a job fair. I plan on attending some soon. I am curious as well.
     
  4. allaphoristic

    allaphoristic Companion

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    Mar 15, 2016

    Got my first job at a fair specifically for charter schools in my area. I took plenty of notes and followed up via email with any schools I was seriously interested in. Received three interviews out of five schools that I followed up with.
     
  5. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Mar 16, 2016

    My experiences from job fairs have not been great! When I was looking for a job I drove all over the state going to job fairs. Wasted money, time, gas that I could have spent on other things. However I will say that one job fair did kind of lead to the job I have now. I kept the business card of the person who would eventually be my Superintendent. I emailed the principals in this district and two responded. Also in this state if you are specialty teacher such as bilingual, ESL, Special ed, maybe math or science it could be easier at job fairs because those kind of teachers are less common than say an elementary teacher. There were hundreds and hundreds of gen ed teachers and only a few of the others. This was my experience so it's just my opinion of job fairs. It doesn't hurt to go if it's not that far away or it's in a district that want to teach in just to get your name out there.
     
  6. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    Mar 16, 2016

    Since me and you are both in TX, should I bother going? I am an alt cert candidate which will make it harder for me. My certs I have are ELAR 4-8, ELAR 7-12, & SPED ec-12.
    The SPED might help me stand out. I am not picky on my position.
     
  7. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    I was alt cert 9 years ago. I did have to take a cruddy position my first year just to get my foot in the door. I have ec-4 4-8 ELAR social studies and spec ed ec-8. I think it just really depends on the area. Out here in West Texas we NEED teachers! In fact I was just in a meeting with my principal she said she has permission to hire before resignations this year so that we can get spots filled. The closer you are to big towns like Houston, San Antonio, Dallas it is hard to get hired because there are so many teachers and only a limited amount of positions. That was the main reason why I moved to West Texas was I was just one out of thousands of teachers looking for a job in South Texas. I think the spec ed is a good thing to have.
     
  8. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    Mar 16, 2016

    Yes, I am in San Antonio :( There are TONS of teachers here and not enough jobs... I can't move because I have free child care here for my son (my family watches him) and my husband has a very good paying job. I am applying and seeking jobs that are a little out of the way in the outer parts of SA, but I can't see myself driving more than 40 miles one way. Which town do you live?
     
  9. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    Mar 16, 2016

    Also do I even bother trying to take off work at my current job (yes, I work weekends too) to go to these job fairs? I don't want to be looked at as not important because I am an alt cert and be treated differently there.
    At job fairs, do they actually hire you there or do they interview then tell you they will send your info to schools and good luck and that I may receive calls....?
     
  10. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I have had vastly different experiences depending on the job fair. The ones that I've been to that are put on by colleges have been great. I had a terrible experience at the only one I've been to that was not put on by a college (it was put on by some state organization). At that one, they were conducting no interviews, simply very short (2-3 minutes) "meet and greets" where they would tell you a little about their district and how to apply online. All of the information they shared was stuff you could very easily find on their website, like where the district was, type of population they serve, any special programs or distinctions, etc. It was a complete waste of time.

    On the other hand, when I was looking for my current job, I went to a local college's job fair and it was a huge success. I don't know that anyone was handing out contracts at the job fair (honestly, I'd be very leery of that anyway), but most districts were conducting actual 15-20 minute screening interviews. You went up to the district, handed them your resume and talked yourself up a bit (or they asked you a question or two), and if they liked what they heard they scheduled you for an interview either later that day or the next day. I got 8 interviews from that fair and all 8 called me back for "real" interviews for specific openings at specific schools after that. I had a similar experience at a job fair in my home state my senior year of college. Most job fairs that I saw had a contact person listed for questions before the fair. If it were me, I might call and ask if districts plan to conduct interviews at the fair or if they are just doing meet and greets.
     
  11. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Mar 16, 2016

    I got my current job from a job fair, and I received an actual offer and several offers to interview from the same job fair. I recently made a promising connection at another job fair. I think they are worth it!
     
  12. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    I used to live in Bandera. I now live in Fort Stockton.
     
  13. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    I have heard about some people being hired at a job fair. In fact my cousin was hired mid year at a job fair. She is high school science so I high need area. But most just take your resume and say they will get back with you. I have never even gotten an interview because of a job fair.
     
  14. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    Mar 25, 2016

    I know this thread is pretty much done, but I had a few more questions about it
    I never been to one and I am nervous about it, I plan on going to a few few in 2 weeks.
    1. I saw on my University's website a video about what to do and not to do. It said to have a 30 second pitch ready, is that true?
    2. Do we line up to the the school district tables of interest and say our 30 sec pitch with our resume then if they like you they will tell you to wait around for the interview process? Or is there no pitch, and you start straight with the interview?
    3. I see a couple of job fairs where most of the districts are the same going, is it weird if they recognize you from other job fairs, if I have met with their district at a job fair, there is no need to go up to them again, right? When going to a single job fair, how many districts did you interview/talk with there?
     
  15. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Mar 25, 2016

    I think it really depends on how the organizers of the job fair set them up. They are not all the same. With that in mind, I'll answer your questions based on my experience:

    1. I saw on my University's website a video about what to do and not to do. It said to have a 30 second pitch ready, is that true?
    I've never had a pitch prepared. I've brainstormed about my strengths, weaknesses, interests, and the "must-know" things about me, in regards to being an educator. I've thought about how I would respond to certain questions, such as I why I left a school mid-year or why I moved out of state for only one year before moving back home. But, I've never prepared a rehearsed speech/pitch. I always talk from the heart, making on-the-spot decisions about what I say.

    2. Do we line up to the the school district tables of interest and say our 30 sec pitch with our resume then if they like you they will tell you to wait around for the interview process? Or is there no pitch, and you start straight with the interview?
    I've attended a job fair where there were lines to wait to talk to certain schools. Although not all schools have had lines to wait in. In some, you could just walk right up and talk to the school representative. Those initial conversations were just that, a brief conversation. It could last anywhere from two minutes to ten minutes. They might ask "interview" type questions, but it's not a formal interview. It's just to get an idea of how you might fit into their school/district. They'll ask you what type of position you are looking for, what experience you have, and how you would do x, y, z. Some job fair organizers have no official interview time scheduled on the same day of the job fair. If the school rep likes you and thinks you'd be a good fit, it's up to them to schedule something with you in the future. Other job fair organizers have a scheduled block of time after the fair ends where the reps go to various small conference rooms or classrooms (if the fair is being held in a school), and they hold a formal screening interview with you. Even then, that is just a screening interview. If you pass that, they typically ask you to do a formal interview on-site at the school before making an offer. This is really up to the organizers to set up the job fair how they choose. Even if they hold formal screening interviews after the fair, not all schools will choose to participate. If they do hold those interviews, you have to be invited to one. You are not automatically invited simply because you talked to them and dropped off your resume.

    3. I see a couple of job fairs where most of the districts are the same going, is it weird if they recognize you from other job fairs, if I have met with their district at a job fair, there is no need to go up to them again, right? When going to a single job fair, how many districts did you interview/talk with there?

    I would agree that you really don't need to go up and talk to a school rep again, if you've recently spoken with them at another fair. That said, if it is a district that you made a good connection with at the previous job fair and you are really hoping to land a position there, it can't hurt to just stop by and say hello - to remind them that you exist and are interested. But I wouldn't expect to leave another resume (unless they ask) or go through the whole conversation again. Also, if the connection wasn't particularly strong at the first job fair, I probably wouldn't take the time to stop by and talk to them again, unless you really want a job there and think you have a chance.

    At a job fair I went to last year, I spent probably three hours walking around and talking to schools (my feet were KILLING me by the end of it!). I don't know the exact number, but I would bet that I talked with roughly 15 schools, maybe more, maybe less. I think I stayed after the fair to do a screening interview with 3 or 4 schools. I then had at least 7 formal interviews scheduled the following month just from the contacts that I made at that job fair, and I ended up accepting one of those positions. On the flip side, just earlier this month, I went to another job fair, and I talked to one school and then left. There were probably one hundred schools there, but I was only interested in that one. I went to another one shortly after and talked with about 8-10 schools, and I now have interviews scheduled with two of them.
     
  16. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    Mar 25, 2016


    Thank you, I was hoping to try and land an offer there, but that is not realistic. I don't have trouble getting interviews, I have trouble landing a job. I will probably just go to 2 upcoming ones. It sucks because I am working on most days of these job fairs.
     
  17. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Yeah, the thing about the job fair representatives is that, rarely, do principals attend themselves. It is usually a talent manager or HR rep at the job fair. They do the "screening" there, and then, if you pass, they forward your info on to the principals, who will then invite you in a for a formal interview. That's why it's not very realistic to get a job offer at one of these fairs or immediately following them. In most cases, you will need to interview with the principal first in order to make sure it's really a good fit. The exception to this might be when a large, usually urban, district holds it's own job fair and principals from the individual schools attend themselves.

    I've found that it's best to save as many sick and personal days as possible to make sure you can attend job fairs and interviews. Beyond that, you really just have to accept that you may have to take unpaid days, if it comes to that. I also find it helpful to let your current employer know the reason for your absences, but that's a personal decision.
     
    txmomteacher2 likes this.
  18. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Mar 27, 2016

    In our district, the principals and assistant principals attend the job fair, and we do hire people from it! I think it just all depends on the district. We have one coming up on April 2nd, and our whole admin team will be there. :)
     
  19. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Mar 27, 2016

    1. I saw on my University's website a video about what to do and not to do. It said to have a 30 second pitch ready, is that true?
    I've never really had a "pitch" ready. That feels awkward to me and I think the best thing to do is to just act like yourself. If the "pitch" thing feels right to you, do it. I usually just said something like, "Hi, I'm waterfall. I'm looking for an elementary position in either special education or general education. Would you like to see my resume?"
    2. Do we line up to the the school district tables of interest and say our 30 sec pitch with our resume then if they like you they will tell you to wait around for the interview process? Or is there no pitch, and you start straight with the interview?
    For the ones that I've been to that have had interviews, they had the first morning or first full day for you to go around and meet with schools. You showed them your resume and maybe answered a question or two (usually very general questions, like why are you interested in working for our district). If they were interested, they scheduled a screening interview for either that afternoon or the next day (if you're deciding between fairs, ones that are two days are a good bet because that means they are for sure doing interviews). The job market is not very saturated in my area, so maybe it would be different in a tougher market, but honestly I found that about 95% of the time they were scheduling interviews just based on what people were certified in. Being certified in sped, I got on almost all of the lists because they knew they'd have openings in that. Our very large urban districts were not doing screening interviews, only meet and greets (which honestly I cannot see how that would have any impact on getting a job with a large urban district) and they had long lines, so I avoided them. I went around to my top districts that were scheduling interviews first, and then went around to any district that was within the area. Even if I wasn't sure about them yet, if I'm going to be at the fair anyway I figured I might as well get more practice interviews in. One cool thing was that I met with two very small, rural districts that I wouldn't have known existed had I not gone to the fair. They were about 50 minutes away from me so that's why I didn't know about them before, but on rural roads it would have been an easy commute. They seemed like really nice places to work. One offered me a sped position I wasn't willing to work in (ED unit) and the other called me for an interview the same day I accepted my current job.
    3. I see a couple of job fairs where most of the districts are the same going, is it weird if they recognize you from other job fairs, if I have met with their district at a job fair, there is no need to go up to them again, right?
    I would definitely prioritize districts you haven't met with yet. If you have time after scheduling interviews with new districts, go back to the old ones, say hi and tell them you're still really interested in their district and ask if there is anything else you can do to get an interview at one of their schools. I wouldn't sign up for another screening interview because it will be the same questions you did the first time.


    When going to a single job fair, how many districts did you interview/talk with there?
    At my last job fair, I would say I talked to about 15 districts. At that time, I wasn't willing to relocate so I stuck to the local options. When I was searching for my first job, I probably talked to at least 40 districts at my first fair because I was willing to look anywhere, including out of state.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
  20. Nab

    Nab Companion

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    Apr 2, 2016

    This is old, but in my experience it depends on the job fair. I've been to job fairs were it was basically: "Oh, hi! Yes, we are so interested in new blood for our district/company. No, don't give me your resume. Apply online at the district website. Bye!"

    My school is putting one on Tuesday. We actually had to sign up for at least four interviews with four different private schools and/or school districts. Apparently, roughly four out of ten students end up with "real" interviews and job offers at (or shortly after) these fairs. Most of these are SPED teachers. I'm going because I have to, but the odds of the fair leading to a job aren't great.
     

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