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You are listening to ‘300 Seconds with Eduardo Soliz,’ and this is episode number 97, “Job Search Blues: Job Fairs,” so let the 300 Seconds begin!
I spent the last episode talking about what a big pain in the posterior looking for and applying for a job online can be. Fortunately, there is a place where you can go to shake hands, speak to a real person, and get that personal touch. The job fair, which is in itself a different level of hell.
I should start out by saying that my experiences are colored by the fact that I am looking for a job in Information Technology, and in general, job fairs tend to suck for IT jobs. At a small job fair, I’ll consider myself lucky if just ONE of the businesses is looking for any sort of IT position. If more than one company at a job fair is looking for a technical support guy or a programmer, I’m thinking that I need to buy a lottery ticket because it’s my lucky day.
Unfortunately, when companies do drag their IT guys out of the basement and put them in front of people, they get to experience how socially inept they can be. I’ve had multiple awkward moments at job fairs with IT people, possibly because I’ve been told by people I’ve worked with that I sometimes come off as intimidating.
One person refused to look me in the eye after I let him know what I thought of their pay rates. Another one froze up after I handed my resume to him and introduced myself. So yeah, my people skills might use a little fine-tuning.
And then there are those instances when the IT guys can’t be dragged out of the basement and so I get to spend a few minutes trying to talk shop to a HR gal or a supervisor that has no earthly idea what I’m saying. Those conversations often end with the company representative telling me to go to their website and apply there…which completely defeats the point of the job fair.
I also love it when I walk up to a company’s table and the representative just starts blabbing away about their wonderful company and how wonderful it would be to work for them and how much they love it there and blah blah blah. After their delightful speech, when I’m finally able to get a word in, I let them know that I’m looking for a computer job. At that point, the air gets completely sucked out of the room when they sheepishly say: “Oh. We aren’t hiring for computer people.” So maybe you should ask me what kind of job I’m looking for before you give me the sales pitch, guys, I’m just saying.
Job fairs are a good idea in general, but for folks looking to hire computer professionals, they don’t seem to work as well as they should. Or maybe it’s just me. It definitely wouldn’t be the first time!
This has been 300 Seconds, the next episode will be posted after I register for the next job fair. I am Eduardo Soliz. For more podcasts, and short fiction, and my blog, visit EduardoSoliz.com and thank you for listening!