Will I Score a Job at a Cleared Job Fair

Posted by Rob Riggins

IAPIt depends.

From the truly non-scientific canvassing we’ve done of the employers who attend our events, 6-7% of the attendees at an all clearance Cleared Job Fair will receive a job offer. That’s about a 1-in-15 chance of getting an offer.

Those are pretty good odds. It’s certainly better odds than applying for a job cold, without any company contact or referral. That’s especially critical if you’re an older job seeker — over about 40 years of age — or if you’re in a career where you have a lot of competition.

At our polygraph-only events, the odds of scoring an offer are even better. We see about 25% of the attendees at a poly-only job fair getting a job offer. Odds of 1 in 4 are pretty compelling.

What drives these numbers? The single most important factor is how well your skills and experience match up with the needs of the employers attending the event.

The job market is tighter right now than it has been in years. The ranks of cleared professionals are thinning. The OPM data breach has slowed progress on the security clearance process. Contractors are really challenged to find qualified cleared job seekers, especially those with polygraphs.

That also means we’re seeing more decision makers at job fairs. As a recruiter from Lockheed Martin shared:

“We always invite program managers to the job fairs we attend. In years past they rarely attended. Now that dynamic has changed and they all want to come because it’s more difficult to find good people.”

To encourage companies to bring decision makers to job fairs, we send pre-registrants’ resumes to employers three days prior to our events. That’s why it’s important for you to pre-register. The employer can then review those resumes, set up interviews for the job fair, and determine who from their company should attend the event.

The tighter job market also results in fewer job seekers attending job fairs, especially at poly-only events because the events are so targeted. That gives hiring managers and job seekers time for more in-depth conversations, which results in more offers.

Will I Walk Out with a Job Offer

We do have companies at each event making on-the-spot offers. As always that’s driven both by their needs and your qualifications.

It’s About Networking

But don’t go to a job fair with the expectation that you’ll walk out the door with an offer. Job fairs, hiring events, career events – whatever you choose to call them — they are about networking and moving your job search forward.

Approach a job fair with the expectation that you’ll be meeting many employers and job seekers who may help you further your job search. Or you may be able to help them. That’s a strategy for success.


This entry was posted on Monday, September 26, 2016 4:12 pm

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