Many companies participate in job fairs to maximize their recruiting efforts and minimize the amount of money spent advertising open job positions. Sometimes, an employer will attend a job fair simply to spread the word about his company. Others, however, are there with the intent to hire new employees right away. For a job seeker, there are many advantages to attending a job fair, regardless of the employers' reasons for being there.
At the most basic level, the advantages of attending a job fair include maximizing your time and effort, and saving gas. Many job fairs have 25 to 50 or more employers in attendance. It's almost impossible to visit 50 employers in one day in any other setting outside of a job fair. You can even contact the job fair hosts in advance to determine which employers are attending. Armed with this information, you can strategically visit recruiter booths, thus maximizing your time and effort even more. By attending the job fair, you can also learn about career paths that you may never otherwise have considered.
When you send an employment application through the mail or online, it can take days or weeks for the employer to contact you for an interview. At job fairs, many of the employers have hiring managers onsite to conduct on-the-spot interviews. Depending upon how well the interview goes, you may receive a job offer that same day.
Put a Face on Your Application
With a remotely submitted job application, you're just a piece of paper tossed onto a pile of other applications. By attending a job fair, you put a face on that application. You can formally introduce yourself to the employer and create a great first impression to add to your credentials -- making yourself professionally memorable can only increases your chances of getting the job. Even if on-the-spot interviews are not offered at the job fair, making personal contact with the recruiter will help bump you up the interview list later on.