Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

Job fair had no fun, no jobs

My suit was new, I looked nice and had all the accoutrements of a professional in search of employment. It was against my better judgment – based on past experience – but I decided to attend a job fair near my home anyway.

I knew the place would be packed with job hunters, but my thinking was it was better than sitting home and searching for jobs online. I recently joined those who had made the sacrifice of a paid job with benefits for the good of the corporate cause (read: I got laid off), and I have several months before I join the folks living in the woods but thought it best to get back on the job track.

Searching for jobs online is fine, and I do it every day, but the lack of face-to-face contact is disconcerting. Like many others, I’ve sent out resumes and cover letters, both online and through the U.S. mail, and have gotten at least acknowledgments from a few places but nothing beyond that.

Most places don’t respond. I guess they’re flooded with resumes for every job that’s advertised.

As you can see in my former newspaper, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the place was packed but there were precious few booths, and only some of those had any jobs. In some of the booths, the main focus was on separating the unemployed from their dwindling money for “opportunities” to go broke trying to sell stuff when consumers aren’t buying, or for training for jobs that don’t exist.

A shout out to my Mom, who listened to me pour out my despair after I got home and changed clothes, and assured me that I’d find something if I kept at it.

Back when I was in college in the mid-1990s, I went to a job fair that was similarly frustrating. This was before the Internet boom, but if there was one sign of how bad things were, it was at this particular job fair. Most of the booths were from government agencies or companies looking for commissioned sales people. There were booths from multi-level marketing companies looking for people to buy into their “opportunities” and the “big three”: McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s.

So are job fairs even worth it? In the age of online job boards (and despite my lack of success so far), I doubt it.

I’d just like to add this: Shame on you, Manatee County Chamber of Commerce, for running a job fair when there were almost no jobs on offer. Go back to throwing “balls” and “bashes” for the local Richie Riches and stop pretending to care about the unemployed. You don’t care, you just want us all to stay unemployed or underemployed to keep wages low so you can throw parties that don’t raise enough money to cover their costs, but that Marjorie North writes about in the Herald-Tribune. Pigs, one and all; you’re all pigs and poverty pimps.

So after I got home and was taking my daily walk, I got into a conversation with someone in the local community, a friendly retired Army guy who told me about his neighbor, who may have a lead on a job. I promised him, and definitely will, contact the guy and look into it.

That’s the way to do it: networking with people.


October 16, 2008 - Posted by | The jobless chronicles | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you and sending good vibes down to Fla. Good Luck! It may be tough, but it’s still do-able.


    Comment by Diana-NYC | October 17, 2008 | Reply

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