Shocked by new grads at job fair

Nurses Job Hunt


Specializes in CCM, PHN.

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.

mods should post this over on the student fora, and the first-year-of-practice forum too. might open some eyes.

meanwhile... did you get someone to take your resume? good luck!

Specializes in Neuroscience/Brain and Stroke.

Goodness, that sounds awful. Did they not fight over your resume? I would've if I was a recruiter, no way would I have even entertained what you just decribed. They should have someone at the door turning away everyone who was not dressed appropriately, that would've weeded out the majority of the trash you just described.

Specializes in Pediatrics.

I would like to know where you're from, because what this tells me is that the local nursing schools are failing at preparing students for the adult world. Although this shows a lack of common sense (dressing appropriately) there is obviously a huge disconnect. My school had numerous nursing recruiters come talk to us, mock interviews, tons of resume/interview discussion and pointers, as well as required us to complete a professional nursing portfolio to bring to our interviews.

Specializes in LTC.

Good lord. If I was a recruiter I would have made a point of handing those resume's RIGHT back to them.

However, on a side note, I never knew until I came to Allnurses that it was inappropriate to dress in scrubs and a lab coat while job hunting. I felt stupid as that had been my uniform while running around to various LTC's dropping off resume's.

Specializes in Emergency.

Interesting....I had a similar experience today at my local city hospital...I was doing clinicals on the 7-3 shift and of course during this time my instructors were all very professional etc...etc...yet at shift change the new crew came in...what a shock..all on their damn phones , while "working" of course...what the hell is so important you have to be fixated on the screen of some small machine??? I don't get it!(i phone...the modern day adult pacifier!) No hello to the new guy, ******** about patients, f this f that it was crazy! Yet I see this and what you described more and more in this ever increasingly selfish "pacified" ignorant society that we are becoming....shoot,. I am only 40 but even in my day when a new person was on the job they were greeted and shown the ropes...not any more apparently...we live in a world of junior high school kids choosing ignorance. Sad!

Specializes in Emergency.
Goodness, that sounds awful. Did they not fight over your resume? I would've if I was a recruiter, no way would I have even entertained what you just decribed. They should have someone at the door turning away everyone who was not dressed appropriately, that would've weeded out the majority of the trash you just described.
...Yes!.. usually the "trash" weeds itself out, but that seems to be when they have already made it to the job.

That sounds terrible. Makes you wonder about the nearby nursing schools. I attended a grad fair in my city specifically for soon- to- be RNs a few months ago, and most everyone wore suits or business casual. The majority of my classmates who attended were in suits, so professionalism is still alive and out there.

Specializes in Tele, Dialysis, Med-Surg, ICU,GI.

Wow!! It is suprising how people will act. I remember wearing a suit to a career fair and trying so hard to make a good impression. I think people forget you have only 5-15 seconds to make a good impression at those fairs. There are so many books out there and so much information available about how to interview. All colleges have employment centers which advise students on how to act on an interview. So shame on them!!!

Specializes in Emergency & Trauma/Adult ICU.

I'd like to be shocked, I really would. But sadly, I am not. All you can do is to set yourself apart.

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

sadly, i'm not shocked. a good friend of mine is a nursing professor at a prestigious university. she says that she's taken to grading her students on appropriate dress and conduct . . . and still some of them don't "get it." and yet they wonder why they don't get hired.

Wow, this was definitely not how new grads at the interview fair I went to dressed. All of them, me included, were dressed professionally. And for the most part, it was quiet, except for all the interviewees talking to the interviewers. In my junior year, my professor in leadership and management had us practicing job interviews while dressed professionally. For presentations we had to give to the class, the dress code was business casual. If there's one thing my school did correctly, it was emphasizing how to look and act professional.

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