Many reading this will remember the days of being able to attend a local career fair and perhaps leave with an interview, or even a job offer. Unfortunately, those days for the most part are long gone, and for a wide range of reasons including; OFCCP, equal employment, criminal, credit, reference, and background checks and much more. In many cases, employers are not even willing or able to accept resumes at brick and mortar career fairs anymore, and if that is the case, why are they even attending, and more importantly, why are we asking veterans who have already sacrificed so much to attend if they are ultimately instructed to go back home and apply online.
There are career fairs all over the country happening every day, and very few offer opportunities for interviews or job offers on the spot. The US Chamber of Commerce will host 400 career fairs across America in 2012, and they do ask employers to come prepared to interview and make contingency offers on the spot, but they are the exception and not the norm. Most at best are a resume exchange, and in my opinion, are a complete waste of time for both the employer and the job seeker who attend.
In the last few years, there has been an increase in the number of online career fairs for veterans including the ones Milicruit hosts every month at www.veteranscareerfair.com The online career fairs allow the employer to recruit nationwide in one day, whereas the traditional career fair only permits them to recruit from the area in which it is happening. The virtual career fair is also a great way for veterans and active duty to explore employment opportunities in other parts of the country, but without having to travel to that market.
For the veteran with a disability, or for the spouse who may not be able to make it to a live career fair, the virtual career fair provides them the same level of access to employers who would be at the local career fair, and from the comfort and convenience of their home.
I am not saying that traditional career fairs do not have a place or play a role in bringing job seekers and employers together, but I am recommending that you do a little homework before putting on your suit, printing resumes, gas up the car, pay for parking, and perhaps time off work. If they are not advertising interviews or job offers on the spot, then consider a virtual approach instead.
Milicruit is hosting a nationwide virtual career fair on June 26th from 1-4PM EDT with more than 24,000 jobs available and over 40 leading employers and government agencies. If you are reading this, you have all you need to meet and interact with employers from all over the country live. Who knows, your next career may be only a click away.
In the last 4 months, the employers who utilize Milicruit to connect with service members and their spouses have hired more than 5,000 veterans and military spouses which are tracked on 10000jobs.com.
Other virtual career fairs for veterans are offered by:
The next time you are invited to attend a career fair, simply ask if the employers are able to interview or hire on the spot, and from there, at least you can make a more educated and informed decision if attending is the best use of your time.
Follow Kevin O'Brien on Twitter: www.twitter.com/VetRecruiting