A distinction is generally made between workers, based on the type of work carried out; blue collar or white collar. The former refers to the uniform (usually blue) worn by factory workers, mechanics and other workers whose jobs are of a physical nature. White collar jobs, on the other hand are descriptive of most desk-bound jobs (white is a corporate color, though there may be no specified uniform).
Organizing or attending career fairs is one of the more popular forms of recruitment. A career fair is basically like a trade show – companies sign-up to attend the event and advertise job openings, candidates visit the fair and try to meet as many prospective employers as possible and hand in their resumes. A short test or interview is usually conducted at the fair itself and selected or shortlisted candidates are invited to visit the company and undergo a more in-depth recruitment process.
The types of white collar jobs which are advertised at career fairs are usually at entry-level or junior management at the most. You will not find CEO positions at career fairs! A career fair may be industry-specific, for example, BPOs; role-specific such as sales jobs or institution-specific, i.e. campus recruitment.
Where to look for career fairs
Information on white collar jobs career fairs can be usually found in the following places:
- Campus job boards
- Local newspapers and popular magazines
- Recruitment and placement offices
- Online sites such as Monster.com
- Company websites – when large scale recruitment is to be done.
Advantages of attending career fairs
At first glance, some of these advantages are quite obvious, for both employers and candidates!
- For candidates: A wide selection of companies and job roles, opportunities to network and make useful contacts, get information on industry, market outlook, etc.
- For companies: A larger selection of candidates to choose from than under normal circumstances, see how the competition is doing and what they are offering, get the overall measure of the quality of talent available (especially in campus recruitments).
Prepping for career fairs
A few simple tips to make the best of opportunities presented by career fairs for white collar jobs:
- Collect as much relevant information as possible prior to the event – participating companies and roles on offer, documentation to carry, whether registration is required, etc.
- Revise your resume and carry multiple copies to handover at different desks/stalls.
- Shortlist the companies you are interested in and prepare beforehand to make the best impression in a short time. It makes no sense to go to a career fair with 100 copies of your resume and drop a copy at each of the company stalls or kiosks.
- Get there early to meet people while you and they are at their freshest, be prepared to ask and answer questions about yourself, how hiring you will benefit the employer, have the latest and updated information on the company’s business, etc.
This article is a short primer on white collar jobs Career Fairs 101, and armed with the information provided here, you should be able to tackle any challenges which come your way while you attend career fairs for white collar jobs.