One Life, Well Traveled

A Personal Blog

Anatomy of a Job Fair

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Today I had the pleasure of attending the 26th Annual PVCC Job Fair, which was a remarkable experience in as-much as it demonstrated why such a thing is increasingly out-dated.  It is easy to see why.  The internet has clearly revolutionized the process of looking for a job, but the Job Fair has yet to catch up with that reality.  The experience at PVCC was not unlike other Fairs of this kind, a couple hundred persons in need of employment (that would be, several hundred persons like myself) vying for the attention of a couple dozen Human Resources professionals.  Resumes are past, cards are exchanged, but this analog experience remains primarily about face time – as if to say, “Hello, my name is David.  As you can see, I am more than just some electrons that happen to form a summary of experience and qualifications.  How are you?”

Were I to advise PVCC on the organization of this event, I would do it thusly:

Firstly, recognize that most, if not all, of these employers expect a digitized application process.  This could be as simple as providing a resume via e-mail, but more likely involves a visit to a website and an extended conversation with a phpBB server that is, in essence, me translated my resume into whichever format the HR Department would like.  So, as you might imagine, providing a computer (or better, computers) for job seekers to use would be an excellent thing.

Secondly, some attempt should be made to organize these employers by category so that, in turn, they can be arraigned by how large a presence they are likely to attract.  Case and point, a Hospital is likely to attract a great deal of attention, so they need more space to not crowd out, say, a small consulting firm.  There were many places that I saw where you could not even see a table because of the great mass of people that had come to speak to the table next to them.

Finally, providing some sort of map as to the location of each of the employers would have been a boon.  There was at least one employer that I wanted to speak to whom I just could not find.  Part of this was, I had no idea where they should be, but part of it was that there was no clear lines as to where the Fair started and stopped.  Should I have looked outside?  Upstairs?  It was very hard to say.

It is really no surprise to me, after that experience, why most employers who I spoke to expressed a desire for me to contact them further outside of the Fair, all of them recommending e-mail or some connection to their website.  Perhaps we could have all saved some time if it had been a virtual Job Fair.  With a properly equipped webcam – it could even include face-time.

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Written by Tarsus

March 10, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Posted in Job Hunt

Tagged with , , , ,

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