Q: Do you recommend job seekers attend local career fairs? What kind of prospects can you expect at a career fair?
A: Web 2.0 has redefined the perception and implementation of the modern job search process. New technology has created competition that helped some, while adversely affecting others. At the campus level career expos/fairs are still a valuable part of the portfolio of career placement activities. National and regional organizations will continue to bring awareness via conferences/seminars/career fair events (for example, http://www.shrm.org and http://www.nbmbaa.org).
The Virtual Career Fair
As we continue down to the regional level, traditional career fairs are subtly being replaced with virtual career fairs. Without the need to shower, put on your best professional suit and show off your affluent communication skills, career transition professionals can sit in their pajamas and create an avatar that is wearing a fancy suit and walk up to a virtual company booth in the privacy of their own home.
Increasingly, resumes and business cards are now exchanged using v-cards and Linkedin profiles.
What if I am not computer savvy? Can I still compete? The advantage of virtual career fairs is that the many competitors in this arena of technology have developed software that is so user friendly that all you need to do is point and click and the work is done for you. The combination of gaming technology and professional infrastructure has blended generations into a melting pot of new and exciting paths.
How beneficial are on-site career fairs?
Local/regional career fairs are tailored toward associate and non-exempt level roles, non-profit, sales/commission based, retail, hospitality and academic institutions. If one of these career paths interests you, attending local career fairs will be an effective tool in your career transition strategy. However, if you career has taken on a different path, virtual careers fairs will be an potentially very effective means of marketing your skills.