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What is a Job Fair?

Anna T.
Updated: Mar 03, 2024

A job fair, which is also referred to as a career fair, is an event held to introduce potential employees to employers and vice versa. Most job fairs consist of several different booths set up in one large area. Each booth represents a different company. Prospective employees of these companies can make the rounds of all booths, introduce themselves to potential employers, and pass out their resumes. The employers who are working inside each booth have the opportunity to not only size up potential employees for their companies, but also to pass out their business cards to many different people, which might help boost business.

One of the most common venues for the average job fair is a college campus. Many colleges offer job fairs to help their students get entry-level positions with various companies after they finish school. In addition to colleges, communities might also occasionally hold job fairs. Community-based job fairs are often sponsored by career centers located within a specific town or city, and these job fairs tend to draw a larger crowd than a college job fair might because they are targeted toward an entire geographic area rather than just one school. In addition to more people possibly being present at a community job fair, there might also be more potential employers available for contact at a community fair versus what might be available at a college fair.

Attending a career fair can be a very valuable experience for a person looking for employment. The initial meet and greet with prospective employers is often said to be very important at job fairs because it may serve as a mini-interview. The impression a person gives at this initial meeting might directly impact whether he gets called in for a job interview by the company. More often than not, job fair employers will most likely schedule job interviews with the people they met who stood out from the crowd in a positive way. It may be important for a person attending a career fair to keep in mind that each employer present will probably come in contact with a large number of people, and it would probably be a good idea to try and make a lasting impression.

A person who is not able to attend a job fair may still be able to get noticed by a specific company if she makes an effort to send her resume in around the time the job fair will occur. This might ensure that her resume falls into the stack with other applicants who registered at the fair. There are also occasionally job fairs that take place online. These online fairs tend to be beneficial for people who might have problems attending an in-person fair. Most virtual job fairs offer prospective employees the chance to not only submit their resumes to employers online, but also to chat live with potential employers.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Anna T.
By Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to Practical Adult Insights. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
Discussion Comments
By Phaedrus — On Feb 05, 2015

When I got my BS degree in business administration last year, my advisor told me to make sure I attended the university's annual job fair. I'm glad I did, because I managed to get a personal interview with a company I've had my eye on for years. I got called back for a second interview a few weeks after the job fair, and now I'm working as a small business consultant for their Chicago office.

The thing I noticed about job fairs is that different companies have different agendas. Some are actively seeking to recruit talent, and they will do things like personal interviews and one-on-one lunch meetings. Others are mostly trying to fill up their application bins, but they know they're not actively hiring at that time. A few are there just to let potential applicants know they exist, but not much else.

By mrwormy — On Feb 04, 2015

When the company I worked for decided to shut down the local division, the Chamber of Commerce sponsored a job fair exclusively for soon-to-be ex-employees. Most of the major employers in the area set up booths in the convention center, and we all did loops around the tables. Some of those booths had private areas for quick personal interviews, while others had banks of computers set up for online applications.

I shook a lot of hands and got a lot of pamphlets and applications, but I decided to accept a transfer offer from the company instead. Many of those jobs offered at the fair were entry-level, and I didn't want to lose 23 years of accrued seniority just to stay in town. But other employees did get some nice job offers they wouldn't have gotten if they went through the usual employment channels.

Anna T.
Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to Practical Adult Insights. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
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