Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Just For Women Career Event" Came Across Like a Flop

I attended the "Just For Women Career Event" in Norfolk at the Ted Constant Convocation Center on Aug. 12. I didn't expect to come home with a job or even an interview lined up, but I thought it would be a good way to do some networking, press a little flesh and hand out some resumes. My plan was to do any needed follow-ups the next day. Yeah, too bad it didn't go as I thought it would.

This career fair was presented by CareerConnection, so I had good feelings about it. There have really been some kick ass jobs listed on CareerConnection and I was looking forward to it. It started at 10 AM and I got there at 10:15. I didn't wait until the end of the day to get there, and I was dressed professionally.

The Ted has a lot of space so I was expecting a good number of participating employers. There were only 26, plus 2 tables (1 had a table top display of job postings and the other had a guy with a laptop that was online, so you could look at jobs there) just for CareerConnection. There was even an electronic kiosk for CareerConnection. It really felt like CareerConnection was more interested in it's own hype. No offense, but I have internet access at home. I can look at those same jobs online here. I don't need to go to a job fair to look at the exact same info in the exact same format.

I was really disappointed by the number and range of the participating employers. I liked seeing the local fire and police departments there, as they recruit peridocially for women and minorities anyway, but those so aren't jobs for me. The Army also had a few people there. That was another career not for me.

Overall, I've seen better jobs and employers listed on CareerConnection. Where they hell were they at today? There were empty booths and open spots there. The Ted apparently didn't sell out their spots for today.

The worst thing about this "job fair" (and I use the term loosely) was the fact that every employer I talked to (and I won't mention names) all said the same thing. We'd talk about open positions and what kind of overall work they do. I'd ask about one specific position and they'd say, "I can take your resume today, but you have to go online to apply there. The resume won't do anything for you now, but I'll be more than happy to take it for you." People were handing over their resumes left and right, eager to waste their paper and then go online and do it all over again.

Uhhhhh, WTF??? I'm supposed to give you the resumes I printed out on my husband's dime so you can take them back to your office and toss them? Why are you even participating in the job fair? There were employers and schools there that only had a sign and a stack of business cards with them at their booth and nothing else. No flyers, no brochures, way to really sell yourselves.

Another really annoying thing about this was the amount of swag the employers were giving out, which in and of itself is no big deal, but how many times was I going to have my place in line cut by some bimbo who only wants to get a free keychain??? And there's no decent, professional way to address these women, so I grit my teeth and went with it, even when these broads were getting to talk to the employers before me.

I should have known this job fair wasn't for me. As soon you walked into the Ted, you were under seige by companies that wanted you to sell their make-up, their food containers and hand painted glasses, or learn how to do hair. That's a little insulting, even for a women's job fair, but for the most part, this truly felt like a JOB FAIR and not a CAREER FAIR. I'm a woman looking to work on my career in a geographic area that is loaded with military wives. So ladies, since you're possibly only going to be here for a few years, let's not get you too far up the corporate ladder.

The sad thing, in the end, is that I guess I haven't learned my lesson yet. There's another job fair coming up later in the fall that I'll probably go to, if I haven't found employment then. It's not another woman's event. I'm staying away from those. I might as well go...I've got a stack of unused resumes here to give out. Maybe the next fair will be better.

No comments:

Post a Comment