The Difference Between A Career Fair and A Job Fair by Mary Whitaker, Career Coach at Rite Careers

Both types of fairs are hosted regularly to encourage job seekers to introduce themselves to potential employers.

Basically there is one main difference between the two fairs as one the career fair is enticing individuals to consider to work in a specific industry. At this time of the year many universities and colleges will host career fairs for different faculties or concentrated areas of study.

At a career fair, the potential employer will be hiring in the future 3, 6 months or sometime within the year. Some will request your resume and some employers will request you do an online application. The purpose of the career fair is to talk to employers and determine if this is a sector you would want to work for and become trained to do the job. This type of fair is a great opportunity for the job seeker to learn more about the company and the responsibilities of specific job titles.

A job fair on the other hand is for employers from different companies or from one company who have more immediate hiring needs. The job fair can be the first step in screening applicants to go to the next stage in the interviewing process. The representatives may often ask the job seeker a couple of important questions including “Tell me about you” and “why do you want to work for this company”.

The similarities of both types of fairs are the employers are looking to recruit new employees at some time in the future. Employers are also eliminating or not recommending candidates who are not prepared to meet them in a professional manner at the booth. Career and job fairs are excellent places to network and begin conversations with potential employers. Both require follow up actions from the job seekers to show interest in the company and not just sending your resume online. Get the business card of the person you spoke to and send them a personal thank you note for taking time to talk to you at the fair. With the thank you note it is a good idea to also include your networking or business card.

Take advantage of both career and job fairs by taking the time to go and talk to the employers where you see yourself being there a valuable employee.