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Job Fairs Near Me | Are They Worth Your Time?  

February 17, 2022

Job fairs offer a wealth of opportunities to job searchers, but because they’re not quite as immediate as the online application process, they can easily be overlooked. If you’re wondering whether a career fair would be worth your time, Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley wants you to know more about how they work and what they can ultimately do for your career.

What Exactly Is a Job Fair?

A  job fair is an official event where employers can get together, meet potential candidates, and evaluate who’s a good match for their hiring needs. How a job fair is organized and what it offers depends on anything from the labor market to the people staging the event. For example, you might find one that is only for people who work in hospitality, while others invite companies from a wide variety of industries.

At Goodwill, we offer a number of no-cost job services designed to help searchers navigate nearly any labor market. No matter what a person’s skill set is, they’re given practical tips on how to connect with the right people and package their talents in a way that helps employers sit up and take notice.

Why Attend a Job Fair?

Job fairs are undoubtedly one of the more time-consuming ways to find a job. Not only do you have to register for the event, but you’ll have to research the employers and prepare questions to ask when you’re there.

Some candidates might understandably be hesitant to invest that kind of effort with only the possibility of landing a job. However, as the staff at Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley have seen time and time again, the rewards are solid enough that we highly recommend this route.

Comfort Level Rising

For many job seekers, talking to employers is far from comfortable. It can be intimidating to try to act normal when so much is on the line. When another person holds the key to anything from a brighter future to financial stability, the stakes are high.

At Goodwill, our goal is to help every candidate put their best foot forward. It all starts with laying a strong foundation. Candidates who are prepared are the ones who not only get the job, but keep it until they’re ready to move on to something better. Professional clothing, job training, resume building: this is just the beginning of the opportunities we offer.

So whether it’s a formal interview or an informal chat about the other attendees of the job fair, the idea is to be confident and ready for anything that might come your way. (Practice really does make perfect, even if it’s not always the most exciting part.) A job fair is a great place to smooth out all the wrinkles.

Learn More About Job Options

How an industry works is specific to more than sweeping statistics. For instance, the nation might need more nurses, but that doesn’t mean that your city does. Location will have a lot to do with the opportunities you’re given, so getting to know its current status can help you make long-term plans. Even with all the virtual opportunities out there, where you live will matter to the job you’re offered.

A job fair gives you the chance to assess what’s out there and who your competition is. You not only get to see the kinds of companies that need help, but you also get to talk to potential employers to see what they’re looking for. This is also a chance to understand the culture of different companies.

Some job candidates go into a job fair hoping to be hired by big-name conglomerates only to find that the ethos at those companies is far from what they need to thrive. For instance, a company might offer very little work-life balance there, which could easily interfere with an employee’s well-being. A job fair gives you the chance to discover a company that meshes with your personal philosophy about work — and maybe one that gives you the chance to get in on the ground floor. 

Contacts to Last a Lifetime

Part of success comes from committing yourself to a career. If you were hoping to become a computer coder, you should be showing up at as many related events as you can find. When you see the same people over and over again, the sheer repetition can be enough to get you halfway there.

Networking at a job fair can result in contacts that last your entire life. It could be a young manager at a start-up or an established veteran at a Fortune 500. It could even be a rival for the same position that you want. Building up a network takes time, but career fairs can speed things up if you let it. The more people who attend, the easier it is to position yourself as someone ready for action.

Should You Expect a Job from Attending a Job Fair?

Unfortunately, this isn’t really the point of a job fair. In fact, you shouldn’t even expect an interview from a job fair! At Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley, we know that this can be discouraging, but we also know that there’s a lot more to the story than the instant gratification you might be hoping for.

Candidates who show up at a job fair often meet the people who end up giving them a job, even if it’s not on the same day of the event. If they don’t find anyone who can hire them, they can easily learn something that they can use either on their next job interview or during their search.

Our staff helps job seekers get ready for job fairs in any way we can:

  • Assessments: Not sure which career is right for you? Our staff helps you identify your strengths so you can market them to the right people.
  • Training: Get help on everything from navigating Excel to communicating with your fellow colleagues. Goodwill makes it possible to make a good impression at every stage of your career.
  • One-on-one coaching: Sometimes people need individual attention to work through the roadblocks that hold them back.
  • Resume building: If someone at a job fair asks you for your resume, you better have a polished one to hand over. At Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley, we run through every word so it’s picture-perfect on the big day.

The Career Services at Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley

Career fairs can happen at any time, and being ready for them can make all the difference. Whether you’re stepping back into the labor pool after a few years off, you recently lost a job, or you’re ready for a chance, we work with you to find a position that allows for professional fulfillment and career advancement.

It’s not always easy to know where to start, but our staff has the resources to get you ready faster than you think. Contact us today to learn more about our programs, which include veterans services, self-service career centers, and job training services.