Are You Sure Job Fairs Are A Good Place To Apply For Work?
Mike Bowman   

Dear Mike Bowman:

Your advice on skipping the online application process and handing my resume to a real human being at a job fair has me scratching my head. I went to the job fair and when I handed my resume to the hiring manager, she told me I should apply online. Why did I waste my time driving to the job fair when I could have simply applied on the employer's website?? Time to rethink your impassioned position on job fairs, Mike??

Melissa JobSeeker


Dear Melissa:

Good for you for taking the time to go to a job fair. I am hoping you visited as many employers as you could during the event and asked about all the opportunities each employer was hiring for.

I understand your frustration. Even at a job fair where job seekers and employers are meeting face to face, there will be a few hiring managers that tell you their company's policy is that all candidates must apply online. So you may be thinking in your mind why did the employer even bother coming to the event?

If you are asked to apply online, don't write this employer off. You should go home and complete the application process after the job fair. However, you should still hand the recruiter a paper copy of your resume and ask her the same questions you would ask any other company representative at the job fair.

Ask her for the best way to ensure your online application makes it into her hands. No one will understand her company's online application process better than her. While you are both meeting at the job fair, talk about the open positions her company has and what the requirements are. Talk about how you would fit into the company and the skills you would be bringing.

Ask questions about the company so you have a better understanding of their culture and goals. Using this time to build rapport with the recruiter will give you an advantage when your resume is forwarded to her inbox. When she gets it, she will remember you and be more likely to call you for an interview because of the impression you already made.

Good luck with your job search, Melissa!


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