The anticipation of attending a Job Fair can be quite overwhelming. The one looking for a job is deciding on how many resumes’ to bring along, what to wear, and what they are really looking for.
About a month ago, it was posted on Facebook, that the Steeplegate Mall here in Concord was going to be holding a Job Fair. I am in the market for a job and decided that it was appropriate for me to look into this opportunity. I brushed up my LinkedIn profile, my resume and reference list.
Going to a job fair is not like scanning the Sunday papers or checking the web-site of employers of interest. The job seeker, who has never been to a job fair, is going into unknown territory, not really knowing what to expect or whether there will be a job match. Fortunately there was provision online to know what companies would be represented.
I did some soul searching and research. I created two styles of resumes. I asked a few people with whom I respected their honest feedback, what their thoughts were and which style seemed most appropriate. The answer to style was divided evenly, yet the overall consensus was that I had a resume that represented me well.
I was fortunate to have two of them ask me questions that made me think about what my goals were along with what I was looking for. For me, the most important aspect of job searching is to understand yourself, how you respond in certain circumstances and where your strengths are. But more importantly, one needs to know what their passion in life is as well as what motivates them to wake up each morning.
I might not know the “specific” job that I am searching for, but I do know that my passion for writing and working with people is key, while having plenty of strong key skills that provide a variety of options. The right job will not exhaust me to the point where I have no time for my personal interests when home and away from work.
Off to the job fair I ventured, arriving early to register, reviewing the map in order to head my way through the mall maze of employment opportunities. I discovered some things about a few companies I did not realize before. Being bold about what I was seeking was appreciated, with some employers providing me some inside contact information of who to email.
There was much to be offered for the varied population of underemployed seekers. I was glad I did not make a large quantity of resumes, as the majority of employers now require online applications or email submissions.
My excursion did not provide any promise of a position, but it opened my eyes to the varied opportunities available for employment. Some will provide excellent pay with benefits, others will provide paid training, while others will provide immediate employment if an individual fits within their qualification requirements.
Although time consuming and impersonal, there is an advantage to online applications. You save the cost of printing and postage. It allows you to browse through a company’s job listing and apply and use that same information to apply for additional positions where you feel qualified. You can apply at any hour of the day when you are most alert and least distracted.
The advantage of a job fair is that you can have face-to-face contact and in many cases leave with a contact that allows you to follow-up with after you fill out the online application. My experience, for the most part, was both relaxing and enjoyable and well worth putting my best foot forward and getting out.
Look within yourself, know your abilities, and seek a balance in life that can also provide joy in your endeavors.