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Tactical Veteran: Job fairs offer personal link

Apr. 16, 2014 - 10:16AM   |  
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If you’re on the hunt for employment but you’ve been going about it mainly by sitting in your house scrolling through endless job listings on the Internet, think about getting out to some job fairs.

Job fairs specifically for veterans are popping up all over. In fact, most of the employers named as the “best for vets” on these pages are heavily into job fairs as a way to connect with potential employees. Some 95 percent reported attending veteran-specific job fairs, averaging 36 such fairs last year.

Some of the advantages include the chance to apply with multiple employers in one shot. You can also network, attend employment workshops, and get a firsthand feel for which companies are looking to hire and how you can best appeal to them. Most importantly, you can hand your résumé to recruiters in a face-to-face setting.

In fact, you could be interviewed and hired on the spot.

There can be drawbacks; at some fairs, it may feel like many companies are looking to fill mostly low-paying, entry-level positions, and some companies may simply hand out business cards and tell you to apply online, rather than interviewing in person.

All in all, though, the potential benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Military Times’ EDGE magazine runs job fair listings in every issue, and you can find many more by Googling “military job fairs” or “veteran job fairs.”

In the Internet age, we’re used to doing everything online. But when it comes to jobs, personal contact — handing your résumé to, and talking with, flesh-and-blood recruiters — can be gold.

Steven Maieli is the founder of TransitioningVeteran.com. Send questions and comments to tacticalveteran@militarytimes.com.

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