I'm a BSN/RN with 5 years experience and I'd like to share my experience with a recent job fair.
It was advertised as a job fair for "Experienced RNs ONLY!" (I won't say what organization put this on, I'm not here to bash them). It was deceptive; when I registered I was instructed to check in at noon, which I found unusual.
I arrived at 11AM, in a suit, a crisp white lab coat embroidered with my name and credentials, business cards in my pocket, and a stack of nicely bound resume portfolios. My nails were short and clean, and I wore my hair pulled back and minimal makeup.
I quickly figured out that the MORNING portion of the job fair was for new grads, and at NOON the experienced RNs were allowed in.
For the next hour while I waited for my turn to enter, I observed what I assumed were all new grads (all had the color-coded badge for new grads on) as they streamed out of the auditorium:
*Most were wearing casual/street clothes, even jeans and flip-flops. Some were wearing dirty scrubs
. I didn't see a single suit or even business casual type outfit at all. Lots of open-toed shoes and exposed tattoos.
*Most were in groups walking together, laughing and giggling, screaming and yelling, on their phones, and being REALLY loud and inappropriate. Generally acting like teenagers!
*I saw lots of extremely obese women with HUGE sprayed hairdos and long, claw-like painted nails, yelling on their phones.
*Also, a lot of angry-looking moms who actually dragged their KID(s) to this!
*ALL were loaded down with freebies, tote bags, mugs, etc.
I went into the auditorium and it looked like a tornado had hit it. The recruiters at the booths looked exhausted. There was no food, coffee or freebies left. I even saw a couple of recruiters packing up to leave! I asked one, "how was the morning?" He shook his head and said "way worse than I was prepared for. They took everything." He had 4 banker's boxes full of resumes. He said, "there might be ONE in there worth hiring." I asked another wiped-out looking recruiter how things were going and she had the same reaction, with a lot of disgust. She had no more brochures, and was way over capacity for resumes, and expressed that she thought "most of these kids looked fresh out of high school recess."
I ended up standing in line at a booth with another RN, a military guy who decided to say hi, "because you're one of the few I see dressed appropriately!" He was in a suit also. We marveled at how insanely unprofessional the new grads seemed, and even most of the experienced RNs. He had 10 years experience and was really saddened at how much professionalism and dignity has disappeared from the profession. I agreed.