There is a job fair tonight, in a town about 30 min away. I am wondering if it is even worth my time to go?? I will graduate in May, and I am just getting ready to start my job search so that is not the issue...but really do people get hired at these things, or is it just a way to network and meet people from the hospitals? If I do go, what should I take..I figured about 10 copies of my resume and then my list of refrences...what do you all think???
Jan 30, '07
Your plan sounds good to me. You can usually meet people and pick up lots of valuable information at those types of things -- even if you don't actually get hired there.
My #1 recommendation is to use the opportunity to get a feel for the "lay of land" in your area. What is the job market like? What is the norm for salary, benefits, work hours, orientation programs, etc. Get an overall feel for your local market.
Also, ask the recruiters about their timetables. When do they usually do their hiring of new grads? When is the best time to formally reply? etc. Sometimes, hospitals hire most of their new grads a month or two before the local schools graduate. Anyone who waits until after graduation finds that the best positions are already filled. In some communities, the hospitals hire most of their new grads after graduation. In some places, there are only certain months of the year that they hire new grads. In other places, they hire them year round.
Use this job fair to find out about things like that. Then you will know how to procede based on the facts of your local market ... and not be in the dark, where you might make a big mistake.
Jan 30, '07
I got my first hospital job as a result of a job fair. At the time, I was a LPN. When the recruiter told me they were concentrating on hiring RNs, I asked her who was the person to talk to for info on trauma nursing. She pointed out a manager, and I promptly walked right up to her, shook her hand, and introduced myself to her. I said I knew I was a LPN, and she wanted RNs, but that I was extremely interested in working in trauma, and that I would work my tail off to prove myself as a nurse. I got hired that week.
I went in there expecting not to get hired, but determined to pitch myself and learn something in the process. Job fairs are great, because you can focus more attention on what that facility has to offer you as well, so you can compare. It's easier to ask questions re; pay, ratios, etc. than when you're in the middle of a job interview.
Jan 30, '07
Yes, going is worth your time. I've learned more from the job interviews, etc. for jobs I never got than from the ones I did! You know, in the old days (before telephones, TV and radio) this is how people learned about what was going on in the world. They went to where groups of people were meeting. Even if your reason for going is not to get a job, you will learn things tonight about job searching as you get close to graduation. Take the time to visit the stations of the various hospitals, even the ones that are out of state, and talk to these recruiters. Ask them what kinds of orientation and training programs they have for new graduates. Ask about the benefits. Ask when they start accepting applications and start hiring. You are going to be amazed at the different answers you get. You are also going to get a very good education about the process of applying for your first job. By learning what some other places have to offer, you'll be able to ask very intelligent questions later when you go serious job hunting. Depending on what organization is sponsoring this job fair they might even have informational sessions on how to write a resume and cover letter and other job search information. You never know. You just might find the place you want to work tonight. We often make our own opportunities.
I was a nurse manager who worked with a nurse recruiter who attended job fairs all the time. The recruiter never hired on the spot at the fairs, but she did take applications and set up job interviews for later. She took the names of students about to graduate and kept in contact with them later if she was impressed with them.
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