Career Fairs: Helpful or not?

Vicky Tobianah 

Career fairs have recently been criticized for failing to provide students with jobs and for not being worth the high cost to employers. Many different people and organizations debate the value of career fairs. Should companies devote lots of time and resources to send their employees all over the country recruiting for positions? And should students dress their best, bring CVs and hope to get a job at these career fairs?

Well, chances are you won’t get a job from going to a career fair. But that doesn’t mean they are not helpful. Career fairs can introduce you to a number of opportunities and companies that you never knew existed.

Today I attended the McGill’s Public Service of Canada Career Fair. While I didn’t walk away with a job, I walked away with a long (very, very long) list of companies to research, many of whom have active job postings that I can apply for. All the company representatives were friendly, willing to talk to students about their work and helped me get started on, what is sure to be, a long job search!

Whenever I walk away from job fairs, I feel immediately stressed. I notice all the students around me, who seem confident and well educated, and are my competitors. Once I learn about all these new job opportunities, I start feeling overwhelmed that I’ll never have enough time to find a job! How ironic! The whole point of going to university is to educate yourself and get a job. Many of my friends often put off the job search because they are too boggled down with school work. But that’s exactly the opposite of what we should be doing.

This Career Fair reminded me of my goal: to graduate McGill and get a job. This weekend, I’m going to look at all the job postings those organizations offer – and start applying for jobs.

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