Going to job fairs is a great opportunity for employers to interact with potential candidates, and network with other companies or universities. Most times these events are an overwhelmingly positive experience, but there are occasions when we, as recruiters, meet some very memorable people who remind us what job seekers are really thinking.
I was working at a job fair when an applicant approached me with the question, “Why don’t you hire people like me?” To be honest, it caught me off guard that he asked such a loaded question. Trying to diffuse any further confusion I simply asked, “I’m sorry, but what do you mean by ‘people like me’?” At this he replied with a straight face, “Short, fat, old…and a convicted felon.” As you can imagine, I was almost floored by his response. But, he brought up a great point; regardless of the way it came out. Many applicants ask themselves daily, “Why am I not getting hired, and what do they (those who get hired) have that I don’t?”
The best thing to do is change your approach to this question. Instead of asking “why am I not getting hired”, ask “what can I do to better my chances of getting hired?”
- Take a class online or watch a webinar to refresh and learn new skills.
- Share your skills with others, so that they are more apt to give a great reference.
- Fine tune your job hunting skills by changing your technique. Don’t just browse job websites. Network with friends, family, and even people you run into at the store.
- And, think outside the box when researching companies or agencies to work for. Just because an agency is focused on healthcare, doesn't mean you need a health degree to work there. They may have opportunities in marketing, HR, customer service, or IT.
Remember; don’t feel defeated before the job search begins. Stay encouraged and approach the job search as you would an actual job. It will take some hard work and determination, but in the end it will be a rewarding experience.
Contributed By: Camille King, Recruitment Associate