Career Fairs?

  1. Hi everyone!

    Well, graduation is in December. A classmate and I are considering going to a couple of career fairs for local hospitals in the next week. Does anyone think this is too early to start talking with recruiters and such?

    If you did start searching early, did you find the recruiters were receptive to you?

    Also, what questions would you ask about the facility in the interview/fair? I feel really confident answering questions during an interview, but what kinds of things should I be asking about at this stage of the game?

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    About WickedRedRN

    Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 999; Likes: 341
    RN, ER; from US
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in ER/Trauma


  3. by   DolphinRN84
    It's definitely NOT too early to start looking for a job. I've gone to career fairs, and it didn't really help me much since they weren't hiring new grads till the next cycle. (This is in Boston by the way). Maybe some interview questions for the fair would be if they are hiring new grads at this time, and maybe info on orientation maybe? Hope more people can pitch in but definitely go to that job fair! It's never too early to look for a job.
  4. by   S.T.A.C.E.Y
    Too early? I wouldn't think so. I've already been to a couple, talking to recruiters and all, and I don't graduate until next spring. Although a number of recruiters weren't actually hiring for positions this early, I've been keeping in touch with some of them, and already have business cards & contacts if the first choice ones fall through.

    When I went I was specifically asking recruiters if they hire new grads into my areas of interest, and what their new grad orientation programs were like. My focus was a good orientation, at a busy hospital where I would see & learn alot. I asked about length of orientation, type of preceptor (one or several), classroom time or just floor orientation, do they help pay for certs or continuing ed classes. And I also wanted to know about their reps with new grads. How long have they had a new grad program (don't want to be the guinea pig), how many new grads do they take a year, continuous intake or limited to a couple of times a year, how many of their new grads complete the orientation, how many new grads from last year have stayed and are still working there. Also, for the programs that interested me, I asked them to tell me about their unit. What are common dx, RN responsibilities, pt ratios, etc.

    I'm young, so the other stuff wasn't such a biggie for me: shifts/hours, pay, benefits, etc.

    Why not go now, even if you think it's early??? Just remember to bring a copy of your resume & cover letter with you. If there not hiring for a job now, they might be soon!

    Best of luck!
  5. by   Medic2RN
    I would think that the earlier the better!
    There are only so many new grad positions open and available after graduation.
  6. by   EricJRN
    The new grad internship program in my department started interviewing December grads two to three months ago. I would go!
  7. by   Daytonite
    Absolutely go to these Job Fairs! Talk to the recruiters and let them get to know you and what your nursing interest is. Take a number of resumes with you so you can give them to the various recruiters. Be prepared to fill out applications as well while you are there, so have all the information you need to do that (addresses of former employers, dates of employment, who to contact at these places, names and addresses of personal references). By the time you graduate, the best jobs are usually already taken, so you need to get busy.

    Some things you should be asking these recruiters is about their orientation programs for new grads and the benefits they offer to employees. They may or may not be prepared to quote salaries to you. Many places won't quote salary until you are sitting in a serious job interview. If you know what area of nursing you want to work in, then ask for that and see what places are willing to offer. When recruiters are at these fairs, it's because they need nurses, so you are going to be in a very good position to be picky about choosing an employer. Don't make any quick decisions without weighing all your options carefully. Do this right and you will probably have your first job before you even graduate.
  8. by   mom2michael
    We graduate in Dec too and the recruiters have been after us since Sept. to get us to nail down jobs.

    Ask about orientation, new grad benefits, benefits in general for all employees, ask about NCLEX review classes (if they pay for one or better yet, have one). As about any other perks for NCLEX (such as a paid day off to take the test). What type of educational assistance program do they offer post grad (will they pay to further your education). Sign on bonus. Shifts most likely to hire new grads. Departments most likely to interview new grads. Shift diffs. Turnover. Retention programs. Customer service rewards (where I work we get $500/year if our department scores about the medium score). Ask about starting pay and pay w/in a year.....find out if you get credit for any CNA/tech work you did while you were in school. Ask about $$$$ for previous degrees or education you might have.

    When you "interview" the recruiter, you are interviewing the hospital or facility so now is the time to ask all the question you want to know that might feel inappropriate during a regular interview.
  9. by   nfsaldal
    By all means, go now. RUN!! I graduate next month also and all but a handful of my classmates have already landed a job. Really, the earlier the better especially if you are hoping to get into a specialty area. I just got offered a job on Friday in ICU at a fairly busy hospital and I accepted. I'm so excited!
  10. by   classicdame
    I have been at fairs as a recruiter. Bring your resume (does not have to be pretty, no one cares). Bring labels with your name/address to put on drawings. Dress business casual & comfortable shoes. Fairs usually have a room or other space set aside for private interviews. Look people in the eye and smile. Don't be distracted by the cheap plastic giveaways. That is not why you are there! If you see someone from your present job and they ask why are you there, reply "Same as you I guess. Just testing the market". Good luck.