Unemployment is down, way down. It’s a job seeker’s market, and that’s a good thing for anyone who is looking for a new job. Whether you are employed or unemployed, keeping an eye open for that next great opportunity is always a great way to keep your career on wheels. At a recent job fair, a job seeker mused about how the process of looking for a job had changed over the years. What used to be knocking on doors, making calls, and making personal connections has morphed into a largely online experience. Some employers even use parsing and scanning software to pull out actual phrasing from your resume. The software then attempts to pair your resume with the job description, looking for near matches. This is a far cry from the personal handshake and conversation.
But, companies often find that these modern techniques fall short when looking for good people. This is because it’s hard to narrow down the candidate pool based on personality, on potential, and on character. Since resumes are usually just “listicles,” hiring people who will adapt to your company’s culture based on resumes alone results in many failed interviews and a longer hiring process.
Job fairs are a great way to break through this “technology barrier” in a big way. Instead of meeting one or two recruiters or hiring managers, you are meeting many. Sometimes, you might be able to chat with 30-40, all in one day. It’s your chance to make a personal impression, to move your resume to the top of the pile.
Here are our TOP FIVE reasons to attend a Denver job fair.
- Demonstrate Your Personality. Try this little exercise. Sit down and write about yourself. Think about your personality, whether you like to talk to people or whether you are assertive or whether you value integrity over getting the job done (or vice versa). Now, think about trying to present this to a stranger, a hiring manager or a recruiter. It’s difficult to think about, and presenting a written introduction about yourself is not really done traditionally when looking for a job. But, there is a way to communicate these things. We humans have a sense about each other. In little mannerisms, in tone of voice, in the way we make eye contact, we can assess another person’s early personality and character traits in a short time. First impressions aren’t always accurate, but we all have ways to determine if there is interpersonal chemistry, whether a person is a good fit based on who they are, not what they’ve done. Going to a job fair gives the right people the right impression of you as a person.
- Get to the Top of the Pile. It’s easy to get lost in the mix. Some companies get thousands of resumes and applicants. Showing up to a job fair gives you the chance to put a face to the resume, and this is often enough to get you to the folder marked “final candidates.” The simple act of going from a piece of paper or digital image to a warm body sometimes is the extra boost you need.
- Apply for Unpublished Jobs. It’s very common for recruiters to have “back pocket” job openings. Maybe their senior software developer is retiring soon and they know an opening is coming up. Maybe their lead sales manager is being promoted to VP of sales and the company is considering an outside hire. Maybe the powers-that-be simply don’t want to publish the job online. There are many situations that result in job openings being kept private, and only the recruiters know what these jobs are. Meeting them and creating a rapport with them can open doors you didn’t even know were there.
- Meet Other Job Seekers. This one is often overlooked. Take some time to talk to other job seekers, see what their experiences have been. Sometimes a great lead will come from another seeker, since they may have encountered a job posting or recruiter that passed them over for lack of pertinent experience. And, if you can’t find a good lead, just talking about the pitfalls and perils of job seeking can be therapeutic.
- Gain Confidence. Often, recruiters go into a job fair knowing that they will have to vie for your attention. You are the belle (or beau) of the ball! Just walking through the door, you will see that companies need you. Sometimes, the anonymity and silence of job searching is deafening. You click “apply” on a job posting, and you have no idea if anyone will even see it. You don’t know if recruiters are seeing it and rejecting it, and you are left to wonder “does anyone really want me?” Spending an hour or so at a job fair will make you see how valuable you are and can be to a company.
So, keep an eye out for the great job fairs that are in Denver. LocalWork.com hosts several a year, and we work hard to gather the best and brightest job seekers and companies all together in one room. We see ourselves as hiring matchmakers. So, check out our upcoming fairs and make a point to come see us.