Are Job Fairs a Waste of Time?
With so many ways to define and direct your career path as a job candidate, it’s not always easy to tell which tools and resources are worth your while. Job fairs, for instance, may not have the kind of influence they once did, but does that mean they should be eliminated from your search?
There once was a time when job fairs were one of the primary means to discover great companies, forge new professional relationships, and if you played your cards right, land a new job. These days, the internet has completely transformed the way we develop and pursue our professional goals. It’s never been quicker or easier to discover and research countless companies and their job openings. For some, this has meant the irrelevance of job fairs. You could very well end up attending a fair where most representatives will simply direct you to their company website. Still, can it really be true that they’re a complete waste of time?
A Closer Look
Proponents of job fairs will point out a few key problems with the idea that these events are no longer worthwhile for the modern job candidate. For example, while they are certainly not a substitute for digital means of job hunting and networking, job fairs can supplement your online efforts when pursued the right way. Much of the criticism of job fairs may also come from those who have set their expectations too high. It’s a mistake to expect that a fair guarantees you a connection that will immediately lead to a new job. Instead, view it as a way to establish direct, in-person interaction with companies and fellow candidates in your industry.
However you’re inclined to perceive job fairs, it’s best to determine their relevance to your job search based on your own goals and the nature of your industry. Your first step, then, should be to do enough homework on your professional community to understand the role that job fairs play within it. Before attending, find out what companies will be present. Make a list of those that you’re most eager to connect with, learn as much as you can about them, and tailor your application materials to highlight the most relevant aspects of your career. As usual, diligent research pays off and allows you to carry out a more efficient job search.
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Are Job Fairs a Waste of Time?
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