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About Job Fairs

Tips and Nice-to-Have Info for Job Fairs

 Jump to...
• Job fair fees, details, dates and registration
• If you can't attend a job fair
• Where can I get driving directions?
• What's the weather going to be like?
• What are diversity job fairs?
• What are virtual, online and cyber job fairs?
• What are college job fairs?
• Where are the job fairs?
 Related Resources
• Interviewing
• Job Fair Schedules
• Letter Writing Desk
• Local Newspapers
• Resumes and CVs
• Salary Research
• Strategies for Job Fairs
• Ten Tips for Job Fairs

What are job fairs?

As the name implies, job fairs are typically fair-like environments, in that employers assemble in rows of booths to speak to you about their jobs. Event producers typically plan the larger ones and advertise them at job banks, participating-employers' sites, on their own sites, and in local newspapers. They take place on college campuses and in hotels, auditoriums, arenas and such.

Employers at some of the larger job fairs build sophisticated booths to show off their culture, products and services. That's to attract your attention and "sell" you on the companies, much like they would at trade shows to attract and sell customers. The event producers might even provide entertainment, games, giveaways, networking and knowledge events, and other activities to make it a more festive, fair-like atmosphere. You walk up and down the rows of booths essentially "shopping" for jobs, giving another meaning to the term job market.

Job fairs are excellent places to land employment, because employers are there expressly to line up candidates for interviews. Some even interview and hire on the spot. Natch, they don't just hand you a job on a silver platter, and you have to sell yourself if you want your resume to at least go in the "maybe" stack. But it doesn't get much better than this for job seekers!

Job fair fees, details, dates and registration

Most job fairs are free for job seekers, but some charge small entrance fees. Some might charge fees for products and services, such as food and resume duplication. Learning seminars, classes and such might require fees, whether or not the job fair does.

To help ensure accuracy, many job fair producers typically don't advertise all the details until about a week or two before the events. If details are not yet available when you check producers' Web sites, just check back about a week before the events. If details are still skimpy, contact the producers using the information at their sites. Also check your local newspapers.

Dates and locations are subject to change because of weather, not enough or too many participating employers, etc. So, it's a good idea to double-check for changes, just before the scheduled dates.

Job fairs typically do not require advanced registration. But some do, so you might research more than just the upcoming week, especially if you intend to travel out of town to attend. Seminars, classes, networking events and such might require advanced registration, whether or not the job fair does.
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If you can't attend a job fair

Many of the producers accept your resume before and after the event, and forward it to participating employers for free. Look for this option at their Web sites.
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Where can I get driving directions?

If the event producers fail to give you good driving directions, try the resources below for printable maps with driving directions.
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What's the weather going to be like?

Check the resources below to see if you'll need an umbrella or earmuffs. If the weather forecast is bad, double-check the event just before the scheduled date, to see if the producers have canceled it. To be sure, call the facility (hotel, auditorium, etc.) that is hosting the event.
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What are diversity job fairs?

In the U.S., all job fairs are equal opportunity. But diversity job fairs are especially focused on attracting ethnic groups and minorities, including African, Asian, Hispanic and Native Americans. Some also try to reach women, veterans, people with disabilities, gays and lesbians, or any group in need or underrepresented in the workplace. Even though they're focused on attracting certain groups, diversity job fairs are typically open to all job seekers. Otherwise, they'd be discriminatory, which defeats their equal-opportunity effort.
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What are virtual, online and cyber job fairs?

Virtual, online and cyber job fairs are all pretty much the same thing. They are supposed to emulate the live events through your computer. But to do a good job, it would take sophisticated audio/video equipment at both ends for two-way interaction, which is the whole point of live job fairs. Subsequently, what many sites call virtual job fairs are nothing more than job listings, corporate profiles, links to employers' Web sites and other features that many jobs banks have, but repackaged with a "virtual job fair" label. Some virtual job fairs simply list the dates and locations of live job fairs, which isn't very virtual, but may allow you to search for jobs and post your resume in advance of the events. Others get close to virtual, by neatly organizing opportunities in "cyber booths" and scheduling real-time, text chats with participating employers. Criticisms aside and regardless of how they're presented, all can be good places to land a job fairly quickly, because the participating employers are typically in the hiring mode.
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What are college job fairs?

These are typically arranged by college career offices, for entry-level jobs and internships. They are open to current students and usually recent alumni, too. They might also be open to anyone in the community. Don't let their smaller size fool you. Many large companies, such as Intel, IBM and Microsoft, recruit at college job fairs.
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Where are the job fairs?

Just click here for links to technical, healthcare, science, general, sales, management, business, professional, local, diversity, on-campus, international and virtual job fairs. Also check your local newspapers.
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