A Job Fair? Networking? But My Work is Classified

Posted by Patra Frame

So often I hear job seekers who focus entirely on searching for work online and do not understand the value of personal contacts and networking. And when I talk to folks in intel or other data-oriented classified work, this is even more common.

But a job search that is effective and that will result in a job that is right for you means you have to get out, and get active.

Talk to people you know. Introduce yourself to other attendees at professional meetings. Look for connections to current employees of organizations where you want to work.

And attend the ‘right’ job fairs.

What are the RIGHT job fairs? Answer: Those that focus on the work you want to do and the employers you want to meet! These might be ClearedJobs.Net Cleared Job Fairs, ones put on by a professional association or veterans’ group, or those run by a specific employer. Do your homework and pick job fairs that match your needs.

But then I always have people tell me that they cannot talk about their work because it is classified. Hear that sound? It’s me blowing you a raspberry.

When you go to a job fair, you need a short introductory statement. You may have heard this called an elevator speech or a mini-bio. Never mind the title, what you need is a quick way to introduce yourself.


  • – The main focus of your past work achievements in 1-2 sentences
  • – Add a bit about who you are as a working human
  • – Toss in your clearance

And you have the recipe for a successful intro.

So your work is classified. But there are many aspects which are not. Do you do data analysis? Write reports? Prepare action plans? Brief others? Define software needs? Integrate various sources into a comprehensive whole? Interview people? I could keep going on this list but surely you get the idea. And those achievements become the first sentence or two.

As a worker, are you someone others turn to for help? Do you train new people? Are you the technical expert for your field? Do you manage people who love to work for you? Can you turn a difficult client into a fan? Or sell new ideas? Are your data sets always clean and useful? Pick out what makes you you, and turn that into the next sentence.

So there is your introduction. Practice it a bit before you use it. Try it out on friends. Work it in at a professional event. Talk to your bathroom mirror.

Once you have tried it a few times, you are ready to impress the employers at the job fair. They love folks who make it easy for them!

This also will give you a bit of comfort if, like many attendees, you hate the thought of talking to all those strangers!

Sure, you will use it at the job fair with every employer representative you choose to talk to. But spread it around – talk to others who are attending and learn more about the job market and other employers.

ClearedJobs.Net HR Specialist Patra Frame

And if you are attending one of ClearedJobs.Net’s Cleared Job Fairs, come by and say hi! I am the one doing the seminars on how to succeed in job search and I will be happy to answer your other questions.

This entry was posted on Monday, October 24, 2011 6:00 am

5 thoughts on “A Job Fair? Networking? But My Work is Classified”

  1. Thanks for a great job fair at the Four Points Sheraton BWI last week Petra! I really appreciate your assistance and guidance!

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