Like the prospectors of the ’49er Gold Rush, job searchers leave most of the gold unmined at a job fair. Lately, I’ve heard many job searchers tell me job fairs
are a waste of time and they find nothing that appeals to them. What they don’t realize is that a job fair is a gold mine of job opportunities, but like the quest for the Mother Lode job fair employment requires exploration and prospecting.
It’s easy to spot obvious jobs. Like placer gold, they lay atop the surface, easy to spot and stake a claim. But the richest veins of golden job opportunities must be explored and discovered. Knowing how and where to find these rich job opportunities is the key to using job fairs to market your skills and strike it rich.
John Williams of Shadowstats.com believes the real unemployment rate in the U.S. is closer to 21.5% based on real Shadow Government Statistics. Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports current U.S. unemployment at 8.2%. The difference, according to Williams, comes from long-term discouraged workers, people who have dropped off the unemployment grid, and people no longer considered unemployed because they are working at part-time jobs or are unqualified for those jobs they currently hold.
Such statistics suggest digging deeper to find those hidden jobs that aren’t advertised. Using your job search skills, locate the golden job opportunities that hit pay dirt. This encourages finding jobs that match your skills, being more encouraged to find work, and securing a new job before unemployment benefits end or the need to find any job becomes critical.
Network with Employers
The best way to prospect a job fair for golden job opportunities is by networking. Visit each vendor and ask what is available. Bring your resume; you may get to leave it with the recruiter. Dress professionally, some vendors interview on the spot!
Take a business card, talk about available job openings, learn all you can, and write on the back of the card what you discussed and what job appealed to you.
Once you get home, write a thank you note and email it to the recruiter mentioning that you met at the job fair and appreciated his/her time. Not only is this proper manners, it gets your name in front of the vendor a second time. If you made a memorable positive impression, it could lead to an interview.
At all events, vendors always offer more than one job opening and not all are advertised.
At a California Central Valley event in March 2012, 18 vendors offered over 300 jobs; over 1,300 candidates sought applications. In the San Francisco Bay Area in late March 2012, 15 vendors offered over 500 jobs; 1,100 candidates sought work. At a Northern California in April 2012, 16 vendors offered over 400 jobs; over 1,000 candidates were prospecting those jobs.
A casino vendor at a Northern California event offered over 95 positions ranging from Hospitality, Sales Representative, IT Project Manager and Technicians, and Executive Account Managers.
A biopharmaceutical company had openings in Clinical Science, BioAnalytical Sciences, BioMetrics, Finance & Accounting, Facilities, Compliance, Legal, Medical Affairs, Regulatory, Research & Development and Validation.
Don’t Walk Away Empty Handed
Too often job searchers walk away from job fairs without digging deep enough, leaving a payload of job opportunities undiscovered. Like the ’49ers of old, they let the gold dust slip through the cracks without investigating to see what may surface.
Job fair opportunities require digging deeper than just looking at a company and assuming it doesn’t offer anything to match your talents. Learning how to network with employers seeking candidates, looking deeper than the obvious can lead to richer opportunities and following-up after the first meeting can help you strike it rich with an interview that rewards you with a new job.
Take advantage of each golden job opportunity offered at a job fair. You may find yourself laughing all the way to the bank with that golden paycheck.