Uh-oh!!! Another career fair finds it’s way into the city of Los Angeles! Be on your guard! I know, I know, I probably shouldn’t be talking shit about career fairs, they are driven by good intentions. But if good intentions was a career, we’d all be employed. Let’s play a quasi-game. Find five friends (or people you know, hell, they don’t have to be your friends) and ask them if they ever gone to job/career fair. Many of them have. I’ve gone to several myself. And ask them if they have EVER been offered employment at a career fair. Yes, many employers will take your résumé or even have you fill out an application at the site, but how many people actually get hired by employers at
job career fairs? I can’t think of single person I know who’s ever walked away from a career fair with even an interview — and a real interview. Not that bullshit, “tell me a little about yourself, what are you looking for and what do you know about our company” crap. A lot of representatives that are attending (and get paid to go) will do this to make you feel good, make you feel as if they’re really interested in your skill set. But they have a quota to meet; of how many résumés to collect so it looks like they were working and their company can justify having purchased a booth and paying someone to pretend with you. Yes, I know. I’m a little harsh when it comes to career fairs. But I firmly believe they do not serve the interest of the unemployed masses. And I can tell you why:
- Career Fairs Costs — in terms of traveling (gas) and parking, especially here in Los Angeles. I went to a career fair at the Convention Center, and it cost me $12 just to park in the structure. Hello! I was unemployed, I did not have $12 to spare. And with gas being over $4 a gal. right now, no one can really travel more than 10-15 miles to pretend. Just sayin’.
- I Could’ve Applied Online — and that was exactly what I was told by representatives at various career fairs. Really?! Really?! If all I wanted to do was to hit the submit button, I would’ve kept my happy ass at home. I wasn’t at the career fair for my health. I needed a job (this was 5 years ago, so I was thinking “job”, not “career”.) I wanted to put my face in front of someone who was in a position to hire me or vouch on my behalf to hire me. Not just take my résumé.
- Hiring Managers Aren’t At Career Fairs — and for good reason! They don’t want to pay for parking either (see bullet one). And they have enough applications to sift through as it is (see bullet two). That’s why they send their little errand boys and girls to go. The people who have a say who gets hire, don’t come to you, you go to them. Think about it.
- It’s Never Worth The Time — whether you’re circling around looking for 2-hour street parking because you don’t want to pay $12 to park again (see bullet one), you have to stand in a 15 minute line at every job booth just to hand some lackey your résumé or, you did manage to find 2-hour parking, but it limits how long you stay at the career fair. And when you think about how long it took you to get there, to find parking and wait in various lines, that’s pretty damn upsetting. Especially when you realize — scroll up — they career fair is only three hours long.
- Networking is IMPOSSIBLE — and obviously so. Thinking about it superficially, no unemployed person looking for substantial employment wants to logically connect with another unemployed person. The blind can’t lead the blind, right? In truth, it’s very possible and helpful if those connections can actually be made, as they can later offer an exchange of information and career leads. But at career fairs (in L.A.) , nobody gives a damn about anyone else expect themselves. They’re all trying to get a “job”, and they could give two shits if you get one or not. How do you connect with that kind of mindset?
I could probably think of a few more reasons why career fairs are covert scams, and I’m pretty sure they are those of your out there that can find other reasons too. But, this is just from my experience, from my side of the coin. Maybe you’re more fortunate than me. Maybe just a “job” is what you’re looking for. Fine. The link is right above.