have you ever gotten a job from a job fair?

In response to the previous post on job fairs, a commenter asked:

I have attended my alma mater’s industry-specific career fair the past few years. I’ve done most of the things you list in your article and gotten feedback that my resume is great.

BUT all the company reps refer me (and everyone else) to their company’s site. I’ve applied for countless positions on those sites and never heard a word (industry specific, HUGE conglomerates). I attend the fair because it’s better than just sitting at home but leave wondering why I even bothered. Being directed to the company site makes me feel hopeless! Why do these reps (from big famous companies that everyone knows about) even attend the fair? Is there anything I can say or do while face to face with these “refer to our site for everything” reps?

Well, it’s potentially an opportunity to form a connection with someone at those companies — someone to send follow-up correspondence to and to check in with.

However, I strongly suspect that these companies are attending job fairs not because they have any intention of doing any serious recruiting work there (they’ve made it pretty clear that they do not) but rather because they’ve just mindlessly decided that job fairs are something that their HR departments “should” do. So they’re just showing up there, without any examination of how they’re using their presence there or whether it makes sense for them to attend at all.

Which means that they’re wasting the time of the employees they send, and they’re wasting the time of job fair attendees like you.

I do think that some employers attend with every intention of meeting potential candidates who they might not otherwise come into contact with — I certainly did, and I saw other employers around me doing that too. And someone I met at one of those job fairs actually ended up getting the job (she used tip #12 from my article, by the way). But I was at smaller, niche job fairs (in my case, for campaign workers), representing a smaller, niche employer — and I suspect those things make a huge difference in whether attending is a good use of job-seekers’ time or not.

I’d love to hear from readers on this: Have any of you ever been hired as a result of attending a job fair?

{ 51 comments… read them below }

  1. Tracy Tran*

    I totally agree with your assessment that job fairs are used as marketing tools, but sometimes we find diamonds in the rough and talk to a few people who want to join the organization.

    I will say in my case, it was quite striking as I was a liaison for an organization I was consulting with and most people didn’t know our organization and these were minorities. This was a big weakness in that organization and if we didn’t get them at first, then we’re doing something wrong in marketing.

    I say it’s needed, but you need to have other avenues to promote like going to networking events or social media. Job fairs is just one way to do it.

  2. Julie*

    I once got a job as a subtitle editor through my university’s job fair. It was quite small, mind you, and involved a fair amount of follow-up afterward.

  3. Sabrina*

    The only time I’ve found job fairs not to be a total waste of time was the one time I applied at Six Flags Great America to be a ride operator when I was 16.

  4. Mike C.*

    I’ve experienced the same thing as the person writing you. Not only was I told to check the company site, but I could get no information out of the company itself about what they were interested in or what exactly they did.

    I’ve never been to another job fair since. If I could find an industry based one I might give it a second thought, but the whole experience really turned me off.

    1. Mr. X*

      You too?

      I remember going to a job fair here in Silicon Valley, and it was a dog show. The companies were putting up signs about hiring engineers, but were completely unable to answer any basic questions about the job. I walked out in disgust, and haven’t been to one ever since.

      There was one company who didn’t bother to show, and simply put up an empty cardboard box with a sign telling people to just put their resume in it. Classic.

  5. JessA*

    In my experience, job fairs have been a complete waste of time. (I attended a well known, New York City area university.) When I attended my specific college’s job fair, I would go up to a company, introduce myself, pitch, and then ask for a business card only to be told that it was against company policy to give them out. Or I would go up to another company (after I had researched them), start talking to them only to be told to go take a look at their website for job postings and more information. The woman didn’t even look remotely interested in talking to me. They might as well have sent a robot, since these recruiters added no value. Why did they even bother to attend?

    The only time that I got an interview with, and then later a job offer from a company that I met at the job fair, when the guy called me to invite me to an interview and told me that he had gotten my resume from the fair, I sat there wondering if he received it from when I met them 1 year ago or 3? I seriously had to wonder if this guy was even legit or if this was some kind of scam / ploy. After doing some research on him online I decided to proceed with interviewing.

      1. JessA*

        Yeah. I was totally dumbfounded by that one. I politely tried to re-phrase the question and he told me again that it was against company policy. I can’t remember exactly who it was but it was with a Really Big company. I was rather surprised and annoyed at my college because they really promoted this job fair, encouraged students to come, and many students had to miss class / take off work in order to attend.

      2. James*

        Not uncommon. Go to any company website and see if you can find a telephone number…Not likely..most business cards have that on there and they don’t want any calls directly to them..this is the policy reasoning here.

  6. Kristin*

    I have! My senior year of college, I went to the job fair not expecting to find much (I majored in PR, and there was only one PR agency at the fair). Since the PR booth was packed, I went to another booth with a bored-looking lady. I talked to her a little bit and filled out an application, even though they were looking for sales and marketing people.

    I was called in for an interview a few days later for a paid marketing internship. I interviewed, and didn’t even try that hard since I saw an internship after graduation as a backup plan at best (I didn’t even write thank you notes!), but ended up getting then internship and accepting it. It paid the same as most entry level jobs, and ended up being a really great experience! I got a lot of marketing experience (which led to 3 more years of working in marketing), made a few friends, and learned how to make jam! They let me stay for 6 months instead of 3 since I was still looking for full time work.

    So- I guess that counts as a job fair success story. :)

  7. Becki*

    I have received a job and an offer of another from career fairs. I went to the specific college career fair at my university each year. The first year, it landed me in a part time position where I worked my last two years of college and gained great experience in my field. After graduation, I was offered a full time position based on a career fair contact. I didn’t accept because I wasn’t a good fit but it was still nice to have an offer. After I did find a full time position, I received two more calls for interviews from contacts I made at my last career fair.

    I think I was successful because I took AAM’s last tip even further. I was part of the extracurricular club that helped host the career fair. It was a great fund raising opportunity for our group and a great networking opportunity for our members. I always volunteered during the tear down shift. I specifically went back to assist people I had spoken with earlier and had a strong interest in. Nothing endears you to a tired company rep like helping them wheel their display to the parking garage. I am certain that landed my resume on the top of the stack more than once.

  8. Stephanie B.*

    I did receive a job with a homecare agency as a result of attending a job fair at my alma mater. It was actually my first and only attended job fair (as an job seeker).
    On the flip side, I’ve found its true that many recruiters attend most job fairs, especially general/non-industry specific ones, for marketing purposes or to fulfill a diversity recruitment or government requirement. There are those however that go with the intent of finding that perfect candidate for a difficult to fill position, but without actually engaging the recruiter, it would be difficult for them to know you’re “the one” and most wouldn’t be interested in flipping through various resumes (ergo, the check out our website line).

  9. Anonymous*

    Having been to half a dozen job fairs including; general job fairs, specific job fairs, even a job fair for advanced degree students ONLY at my alma mater, here’s my conclusion:


    Any HR rep, college carreer counselor, job coach, etc. who suggests that you attend a job fair is out of touch with reality.

    Yes, there are some folks who get a “job” from a job fair; but it is always an entry-level job. Many of the jobs that the companies have available through a job fair are available for a reason – no one wants it! It is an entry level job or it is a job with a high turnover rate, long hours with little pay.

    At the only-advanced-degree job fair I researched three companies that would most likely have the type of position that I would be interested in. I took off from my temp job early that day (which means I lost pay) only to find that those three specific companies’ reps had “gone home.” Although they had been there earlier in the day they decided, for whatever reason, it wasn’t worth hanging out until the formal closing hours of the fair. FYI, the hours were to be until 7:00 pm, I was there at 3:00 pm. Three companies left early, missing out on those of us who came during the last four hours.

    This did not give me a sense of professionalism from those companies. Nor did it help me any when the woman who was in charge volunteered to take my resume and forward it to them, while at the same time she was livid about them not staying until close as it was part of their contract to be invited to the job fair and she’ll “be damned if they get invited next year.” Whoa! I don’t want my resume to be associated with that conversation.

    While I did talk with other companies’ reps, there wasn’t much to talk about as they would not have what I was looking for.

    That was the last job fair I attended. Someone will have to put a gun to my head to get me to another job fair.

  10. Anonymous*

    I have gotten a total of 2 interviews out of job fairs with no job in the end. I haven’t been to that many. The first one came about a month or two after the job fair, and I actually had a sit down chat with the representative. The second interview, which was at the same job fair, resulted months later; that recruiter was merely collecting resumes since apparently no positions were open at the time.

    I have a dislike for my college’s job fair, which is where the aforementioned took place. My college, while well-known in the state, is small and doesn’t attract as much attention as the big state university. Therefore, the job fairs are small. These fairs don’t represent fairly all of the majors on campus. And then, when the day arrives, some of the companies do not even show. It happened to me once when I had taken an interest in a company and it didn’t show. Someone from the college finally came around and placed a “cancelled” sign on the table designated for the company. I thought it was very rude and inconsiderate on the company’s behalf when it was apparently last minute. (Sure something could have come up with the recruiter, but I also doubt it.)

  11. confused*

    Wow, I did not expect my question to get its own post :)

    I’ve also had the same experiences as Mike C. and JessA!
    Re Mike C’s comment:
    Having checked the sites of the companies I knew would attend, I mentioned specific positions I was interested in and tried to get more information. I was told to refer back to the site. I even left resumes with the reps for specific position (putting the job title and job ID number at the top) and never heard back.
    Re JessA’s comment:
    I wanted to get names/email addresses to follow up and a few of the reps told me it was against company policy to give out their card and/or any contact information. I would bet it has nothing to do with company policy and everything to do with not wanting to grant access to anyone at the company (or get hassled by job seekers)….which brings me back to wondering why they attend.

    Alison makes an interesting point about them mindlessly deciding they “should” attend. I often wonder if the fair is my alma mater’s way of putting forth the perception that they are helping students and alums find work and thereby maintaining their reputation. They feel they “should” have a career fair so they do. The companies feel they “should” attend (insert prestigious school/program here)’s career fair so they do.

  12. Ant*

    Most I have found unsuccessful. I did go to one that I both (1) got a phone interview for a position essentially at a level equal or below my current position (which I was moving on from in finishing grad school) and (2) contact info and assurances that I would be a great fit for a position that wasn’t yet posted but would be coming available – however, after weeks of phone tag with the recruiter, she then posted a job opening specifically for me to reply to on the website – I got knocked out because the company does what is essentially a 45 minute personality test to find “best fits” for the org. Oh well.

  13. lapreghiera*

    I agree with your assessment as well, half the reps are at some career fairs just to take a day from work, get a free box lunch, and make sure their companies meet the EEOC/EOE requirements for the year so they can say “we went/we tried.” Companies ought to require whoever they send out to have at least 3 in office interviews the next week from people who personally attended the career fairs to make sure they are on their job. If the 3 “candidates” are absolutely no fit for anything, 9X/10 it’ll mean their people just picked at random so they could blow off the day, but if you can connect with some of who comes in, that means they were doing some work to bring in the right people. I’ve been to those industry targeted, specific candidate invite only fairs and sometimes there too, recruiters are just handing out company pens and paraphernalia cause they are not hiring, or not at the candidates level. When you try to draw the rep into a conversation just to acclimate yourself to the company, they just want to talk to their peers. Sometimes the event coordinator ask the companies to send anybody so the event can appear a bigger deal than it is. I expect everyone holding a booth to be actively hiring.
    I am just talking about my personal experiences, and some of this isn’t from the recent economy, I’m talking 7-8yrs ago stuff like this happened.
    There are those who are hiring attending too, but sometimes its way too obvious what they are hiring for. Now the local home improvement store saving all their applications for the strapping young men in attendance is one thing, but when you see a recruiter overly helpful to any pretty young (but smart) women /or handsome guys who approach the booth is ridiculous.
    The place the “apply at our site” notice really tickled and perplexed me, is the unemployment office “referrals”. Everyone is passing the buck when people are sincerely looking to work.

  14. Stephanie*

    Yes, but I will qualify my answer in that the fair was targeted toward a niche group (it was at a national conference for women in engineering) and employers were mostly hiring for summer internships or entry-level positions (the offers I got were all entry-level). And even then, there were definitely companies that were obviously there for PR/EOE/EEO reasons.

    My alma mater was small enough and had enough relationships with certain companies (i.e., Career Services was basically a placement agency for consulting, oil, or finance) that the schools’ career fairs would lead to offers for people.

    But anything sponsored by a large metro area’s newspaper and/or hosted at a hotel is basically a cattle call. And may there be a special place in hell for any job fair hosted by a state unemployment office.

  15. Stephanie*

    Oh, my friend also came up with a nickname for bad job fairs–the Taco Bell Job Fair. This was after he called me complaining that he put on a suit to go to a job fair where the only place hiring was Taco Bell.

    Example usage:
    “Hmm, the Washington Post is advertising a job fair on the 20th.”
    “Oh no, that definitely looks like a Taco Bell Job Fair–it’s at a low-budget hotel, not industry specific, and you have to register to see any kind of employer list. Avoid.”

  16. marie*

    I got a job at a job fair. But it was a niche fair on the grounds of my law school, and the job was just for vacation work (although it did include an interview for a more permanent job, which I promptly flunked). I’ve been most successful at finding jobs by replying to adverts for existing positions in the classifieds or on the company websites.

  17. Anonymous*

    I got my current job at a job fair, my sister got her job at a job fair, and now I often represent my company at job fairs.
    I’d like to assure the previous responder that most company reps are not there to get a day off or a “box lunch.” It’s expensive to attend the fairs, expensive to send people to represent the company, and we try to choose those schools/venues that have produced top candidates in the past. The “day off” from work i get just means I have twice as much work to do when I get back to the office, and I’ve spent a day on my feet in heels, grabbing a quick bite of crappy food, accepting resumes from people who have no idea what our company does and just hand out resumes at every table. We don’t refer people to the website, but I can see why some companies might. If you apply online, a company rep isn’t taking your paper resume in a stack of 100 others, putting it at risk for loss or damage. If you apply online, you have to have at least enough interest in the company to type its name into the search bar, and may even pick up an idea of what type of company it is en route to the “jobs” section.
    I’ve hired some outstanding employees from job fairs, and I think it’s worth it to attend. Know it’s not a picnic for the company reps, either, though.

      1. Roy*

        With over 20 years of HR experience, I would agree with “Anonymous” on this one. You do not attend job fairs to find out about a company or what positions they have to offer. All of that information is already online.

        The first thing you should do is find out what companies are going to be at the job fair. Then go to their website and apply for the positions you’re interested in AND YOU QUALIFY FOR. After that get some background information about the company (what they do, how many employees they have, where their located, types of benefits, etc) then you go to the job fair and put a face to a name. Telling a recruiter that you have already done research about their company and the positions they currently have open will leave a very positive impression.

        Remember, your job is to know what I am looking for and to convince me that you would be the best choice for the position.
        Finally, do not, I repeat, do not walk up to a recruiter and say, “tell me about your company and what positions you have to offer”.

  18. The gold digger*

    I got an interview for a professional job (operations analysis) I had already applied for online at a general job fair in Memphis. I went to the job fair, where I noticed I was one of about three persons wearing a suit and not jeans or sweatpants, went straight to the booth of the employer whose job I had already applied for, and put my resume into the hands of the representative, telling him I wanted that job.

    I think I would have had a better chance of actually getting the job if during the interview, I had not told the hiring manager that I had no interest in spending 8 hours a day by myself writing spreadsheets.

    No great loss – I realized while they were giving me the factory tour that their strategy of using a temp agency to supply them with unskilled factory workers was not so much for production smoothing but was a way to hire illegal aliens with plausible deniability. I’d rather not be mixed up in that.

  19. Melissa*

    I got my first job out of college from attending a job fair. I’ve been here nearly 2 years now, and have already gotten 1 promotion. I was really worried this job fair would be a waste of my time (it was a college job fair, and most of the companies with booths there just directed people to their website, and refused to accept resumes). I’m really glad I took the time to attend, though. I don’t think I would have found my current job otherwise.

  20. Amy*

    I’ve experienced job fairs from both the job seeker side and the recruiter side. When I was unemployed, I went to one held at a local hotel. They set it up where everyone went into one room, sat down, and listened to pitches from each company, so that you didn’t have to waste time waiting on lines for places you had no interest in. OK, fine. Big waste of time for me anyway as most jobs were for sales positions and that’s not me. From a recruiting perspective, we generally don’t do a lot of job fairs due to either the high cost of buying a table, or the very small size of the free ones. There is one industry-specific one we try to get to each year. It’s well organized and we get a lot of great candidates from it – so much so that I am still getting hires from the stack of resumes from last year’s fair.

    On the topic of the recruiters telling candidates to apply online… I can only speak for my company but we direct people to the site for a couple of reasons. First, that is our application process – we don’t do paper applications any more, so if you want to be considered for a specific position that’s how you have to do it. It’s also a million times easier for you to be found if you’re in our database versus in a stack of paper resumes. I do look through the stack… eventually. But the first place I go is the online database. We’re not asking candidates to go online just to annoy you – it does help you by making you more easily searchable when a position does open up.

  21. Joshua Johnston*

    I hire clerical and administrative talent downtown Chicago and participate at job fairs throughout Chicagoland area. Throughout the 6 years I’ve been in staffing, I’ve placed many of my recruited job fair participants. But my most exciting placement was recruiting one of the recruiters at the job fair. This candidate made all of the participants at the job fair smile, even if she couldn’t place them at her company. She also knew a few of the other companies at the fair and was able to give referrals to those she couldn’t see working for her company, but saw talent.

    Even if you do not get an interview or follow up with a recruiter from a job fair, it’s at least a contact that could lead you to another person. Please network. And remember who you speak to… They may lead you to your next position!

  22. Chuck*

    As an employer, I have attended several job fairs AND have hired people as a result of attending.

    I find that college job fairs are especially productive in hiring recent college grads and co-ops/interns.

    I’ve also hired experienced people at other job fairs.

  23. SME*

    I work for a staffing company that regularly attends job fairs, and while the name companies might not be serious about finding candidates there, we sure are. I know other temp agencies and placement companies are as well, so it might be worth shifting focus and seeing what you can make happen with the staffing companies that attend.

  24. Danielle*

    I actually have gotten a total of 5 job offers from job fairs, 4 of them being from big conglomerates. I am a senior chemical engineering student with an average gpa, but the tip I have would be definitely reiteration. I attended job fairs from freshman year on even when I had jobs, and at this point I know most of the HR representatives that come to my university’s job fair, since they normally come to both the spring and fall fairs. I go to a medium sized public school woth 12,000 undergraduates. This fall I also attended the Society of Women Engineers conference which had a massive job fair. I got offers from both my university’s fair and the SWE fair, but I think it was because the HR representatives knew my name. I also made an effort to get business cards at the companies I was interested in. Also surprisingly the companies I thought I loved before job fairs often changed based on the conversations I had at the fairs. The job I ended up accepting was with a company I just stopped at for the free travel mug – it was the end of the fair, I saw the mug and picked up a flier and walked away. I returned after having read the flier and had a substantial conversation because I knew enough about the company just from the flier. They scheduled me for an interview the next day, and things went from there! Even now I’m surprised this is where I ended up, but I think it largely came down to the people Iet on my site visit. I ended up with two chemical industry offers, two oil industry offers and an environmental offer. It took a lot of time and definitely came down to networking well.

  25. The Engineer*

    I have attended job fairs representing my former large government agency employer. We were definitely looking to attract applicants and needed to work at it to overcome the salary advantages of the private sector firms in our industry. That has likely changed a lot in the past few years as candidates outnumber opportunities today.

    My current position (still government – much smaller agency) involves working with several local private sector firms. These firms still attend job fairs at the local universities. With today’s limited jobs openings they use these opportunities to find candidates and to maintain the relationship with the school and faculty. Most of the jobs they have are not “open.” They are looking for students who catch their eye and display personalities and skills that will be a good match at their firm.

    The person “selling” at the fairs has changed in the last few years and many students don’t see that.

  26. Talyssa*

    I’ve worked for a company that sent a couple people to a local major university’s job fair, thinking they could hire some ‘interns’ (which were more like entry level jobs).

    I imagine that a lot of very hopeful resumes were handed to them and all were disappointed. The people that were sent to the hiring fair had no idea what it meant to hire ENTRY level. One person was my manager at the time and he was very disappointed that no one at the fair had both the technical expertise he was looking for and knowledge of the mortgage industry. Because its totally reasonable to except mortgage industry knowledge from college students. So yeah, we hired no one from there, AND I’m pretty sure both of the guys who went worked a very short day.

    Its not that I think that’s NORMAL but it certainly does happen, so I’m not totally surprised that people have had bad experiences. On the other hand I looked at some of the resumes they brought back and it was pretty obvious that most of the kids had no idea what they were applying for. Not sure if that was our fault (quite possible!) or theirs.

  27. Anonymous*

    I got an interview from a university job fair because of my nametag.

    My major, Theology, was directly below my name, and when I approached a not-for-profit rep, the first thing she did was notice the word theology, and then called over a colleague who had also studied theology and was hiring for a job coaching position.

    I got an interview, although didn’t end up getting the job, but it was still good interview practice, which is always valuable.

  28. Anonymous*

    I think the empolyers at Universitiy job fairs who are looking to hire recent grads are usually the ones who are there to actively recruit. I know several who had gotten interviews that way. I’m guessing employers at most other job fairs in the community are only their to market their company.

  29. Y*

    I have a good friend who got a job from a job fair. It was during our senior year of college. We both attended the same job fair and were getting degrees in the same field. She spoke with a pretty big corporation with a booth at the fair. She interviewed with them in December and was offered a job… STARTING IN JULY! She had the entire rest of her senior year of college knowing she had a job immediately after graduating! It has worked out really well for her and she’s been there for nearly three years. That’s a pretty good success story!

  30. Brianna*

    I’d imagine as a job seeker that the success of a fair would depend on your expectations going into it. Not sure that’s helpful, just something that came to mind after reading through everyone’s posts.

  31. Justin*

    I found my current job at a university job fair. I think it helped me get an interview and succeed when I mentioned that I had discussed the mission, goals, and culture with the reps at the fair. I saw plenty of good opportunities there. Some where pretty low level (bank teller), but there were alot of science related jobs too.

  32. MB*

    I have been to a few of those and not only did I not get a job, I got nothing! Those things are really useless unless you are looking for jobs in sales or customer service. I don’t know anyone who’s ever gotten a job from a job fair. All they do is tell you to send your CV on the website and you never hear anything. They don’t return calls. Really, the only thing you get is germs.

  33. Mei*

    I actually did get a job offer from attending a school career fair before. It was an unpaid marketing internship, but I was only a freshman then, so I was happy to get anything. I saw that there wasn’t that many people at that booth, so I went to talk to her. When I asked what types of internships do they offer, they mentioned something that I worked on before. I immediately told her about my experience and she took my resume. I heard back from the company after a month and went for an interview. And voila, I got the job offer.

  34. star*

    I was at a recruiting fair as an employer. See they send us fresh graduates out to recruit. It was a nightmare.. from the employer’s perspective! So I started working with the company and in less than 6 months and they told me to go out and recruit in the career fair cause I graduated from that university. I thought it would be cool, chicks flock to you.. etc. Well.. I could not take a break in 3 hours and I completely lost my voice after the 1st hour. That’s how many people who wanted to talk to me. People were giving me resumes right and left, after talking to 100 people.. at the end of the day I could not remember any of them unless I made a note on their resume. 2 weeks later my manager asked me to pick out some resumes. At this point, I was clueless as to who to pass on. So literally, I spent 30 seconds on a resume going through 100 resumes. So I would look for two things:

    Red flags that told me this wasn’t the right candidate or key skills I
    knew we needed.

    So there you have it, from a graduate student perspective and an employer’s perspective… No wonder getting a job is hard.. and the 30 second resume is totally true. I found myself using it without anyone even telling me.

    Bottom line: It is almost impossible to get a job in the engineering field because there are too many applicants and engineers are a dime a dozen.. especially when 75% of the students and applicants are either east indian or chinese. You cannot compete with these foreign students because they are fierce with high GPAs, from their point of view.. if they can’t get a job.. they go home..

    My advise: I know this is going to suck: I’m sorry: Don’t even bother with engineering in America, you can’t find a job easily.. engineers are dime a dozen.. Leave the engineering job to the East Indians and Chinese. Unless you are prepared to go through this nightmare. Speaking as an EE, it is just not worth it.. after struggling through school for 5 years doing high math, science and really hard engineering.. you get out and find that getting a job is impossible.

    1. James*

      I agree. The best chance of getting a job is knowing someone who can give their boss your resume(and make sure they love their job and are good at it so their boss doesn’t toss it)..The only people I get calls from monster and dice are recruiters who are simply people paid to get my resume in their recruiting system. I really don’t understand why job fair people tell everyone to look on their website for jobs. It’s like they aren’t really looking to hire someone from a university or a job fair, but they have to be there because? What is really funny is some companies require all applicants to still be in an undergraduate program or attaining a masters..It’s like they want to drag you away from your goal of getting your degree to be employed with them(I know this because I asked one of these companies if they work around student schedules and he said no, they require you quit school, but that you did have to be in a program!)lol..this is simple corp policy warfare on thwarting a person’s carrer. I know for a fact many management jobs require a masters.

  35. star*

    Follow up.

    I’m not saying you shouldn’t study engineering at all but be warned that the competition is tough and that getting a job is pretty much like winning the lottery. Eventually, you’ll find something.. hopefully.. It took me 3 years after I graduated to land a decent job. Yet some students who graduated with me found a job right away.

    The ugly truth is that companies hire through people they know internally. And then you have the east indian and chinese clusters who hire and give opportunities to those people only.

    Bottom line: ANYTHING GOES! You have to swim through this crap, know someone and find a job.
    Oh…don’t forget to pray.. pray real hard to God.

  36. Anonymous*

    I’ve been to numerous job fairs for Chicago Public Schools, and a few college fairs. The college fairs seem to be worthwhile to attend, but the CPS fairs were a nightmare. Hundreds upon hundreds of teachers. I’d wait in line for an hour to talk to one recruiter and then wait in another line for another hour. You’d hope to spend at least 2 minutes speaking with the recruiter and didn’t always get even that. I would drop off my resume at most of the booths and stand in line for the positions that were the most desirable to me. I have only known a very select few to receive interviews or job offers from these job fairs. They were either extremely qualified in a key demographic, or they were minorities. One of these was even refused a permanent position at the school later, because the principal “needed to hire an African American and she was only Middle Eastern”. Crazy.

  37. Anon*

    WOW….I had my share of experiences and don’t want to sound redundant but yes, job fairs can be a dream come true or a waste of time. I feel that since the economy crashed, alot of ppl are out of jobs and yeah, companies have to meet that qouta. I was a former HR rep so I am so aware of this. I worked for a huge food service company, it was a mess, that’s the most I would say. So now I am looking for a job in the healthcare field, been doing everything online but I think I may just have to do different things. I think if you can go to an industry specific job fair, that might be hopeful. But a job fair like careerexpo.com or national ones at the Holiday Inn, I wouldn’t waste my time. LOL, like someone said earlier in this comment section, it’s a Taco Bell job fair, lol. Good luck to all of you.

  38. Lawrence*

    Last year I was a sophomore in ChemE and landed 5 interviews including one with BP and Caterpillar. I don’t think career fairs are a waste of time. One of my 5 interviews I landed was Celanese Chemicals and after talking to the recruiter for like two minutes he gives me a sheet and tells me to sign up for whatever time I want to interview the week after. You can’t get that kind of opportunity through your computer! I ended up accepting an intern position and am so grateful for my experience. I think as a student new to the bump and grind of finding a job it is vital to attend career fairs. However, once you’ve got a strong resume with prior experience it’s not really all that important I’d say.

  39. JL*

    I am a University Relations Recruiter at a fortune 500 company and attend (along with my team) about 35 career fairs per season. We have approximately 200 open positions yearly for college level hires (this doesn’t even include interns, just full time hires). I would say 99% of all of the hires we make are from students we see at the career fairs. If someone is told “just apply online”, I hate to say it but that means they are not interested in YOU, not that they aren’t recruiting at all at these fairs. People we like we schedule for interviews the following day. People we REALLY like, I have some managers who interview them right then and there for 45 minutes. I don’t know what the OP is doing wrong, but companies don’t just go to fairs for fun. They are expensive and take a lot of time and energy.

  40. City college*

    I go to a city college so whenever there’s any kind of job fair there’s thousands of people and the wages are always less than 40k, they’re usually $10/hr and no one ever calls back. Seems more like to say they attended the event to get recognition rather than hiring anyone from CUNY

  41. Anonymous*

    Job fairs are an utter waste of time. Companies use them as a last-ditch effort to find new candidates. They’re really a resume garbage dump in disguise (just make sure your address on your resume is a P.O. Box, because with ID Theft all over the place, it may fall into the wrong hands). I used to go to these events dressed up in a business suit and armed with 30 copies of my resume, with the delusional belief that I might get a job. Now whenever there’s a job fair, I just go there to grab all the free goodies and office supplies from the companies that are wasting their time attending. Unless there’s any real reason to attend these silly dog and pony shows, my advice is not to attend them.

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