Why you should attend a job/career fair


Job fairs (or career fairs) are an excellent opportunity for young graduates looking for a first job, but also for more experienced professionals who are looking for a career change. If you are in either of those positions, here you’ll see why you should consider attending a job fair.

What are job fairs?

A job fair, also known as a job expo, career expo, or career fair, is an event where employers, recruiters, and schools provide information to prospective employees.

Usually, they are organized by colleges or universities and are commonly used for entry-level job recruitment. However, there are some that are run by independent event organizers which often offer opportunities to more senior, experienced professionals. Job fairs are an opportunity for job seekers to meet with an employer, attempt to distinguish themselves from other applicants, and learn more about a company or industry that interests them.

Job Fairs vs Career Fairs

Doing a quick internet search, you will find that some articles will give distinct definitions to job fairs and career fairs, while many others use the terms interchangeably. 

Some will say that job fairs, as the name implies, are those focused on recruitment – normally for entry-level positions. The main purpose for one to attend is to get (almost instantaneously) hired by one of the exhibitors. Career fairs, on the other hand, are more focused on networking and learning, and are not as exclusively centered on finding a job or filling a particular position. 

With that said, the reality is that several events named as job fairs also offer the benefits usually attributed to career fairs and vice-versa. Therefore, in this article, the term job fair will refer to both, job fair and career fairs, indistinctly.

So why you should attend a job fair?

There are many reasons for someone to consider attending a job fair. Obviously, the first reason that comes to mind is: to find a job. Therefore, the first question that comes to mind is: do people actually get hired at job fairs?

Do people actually get hired at job fairs?

There are a number of potential outcomes for job fair attendees.

Occasionally, after multiple interviews or meaningful conversations with recruiters, attendees will leave a job fair with one or more offers, especially for entry level roles or internships.

In another potential scenario, the interview or conversation with a recruiter that takes place at the job fair serves as an initial step in a multi-step hiring process. The remaining steps in the full recruitment and hiring process will be completed outside of the job fair at a later date either in person at the employer’s office or via video conference.

A third potential scenario includes the job fair attendee establishing themselves as a quality candidate for a role that has yet to be opened by an employer. In this scenario the recruiter will reach out to the candidate in the future once the role has been officially opened. 

👉 Pro tip: candidates should make sure the recruiters have their contact information so they can be successfully reached in the future. This could mean handing off a resume, business card or making sure you connect on LinkedIn (or all three!)

Disclaimer: Note that the reality of job fairs is that the majority of attendees will leave the fair with no job offers. However, this shouldn’t deter attendees as there is still a significant amount of value to be derived from the fair.

Job fairs are much more than a place for you to find a job

Important: receiving a job offer (or not) must not be the sole indicator to measure success of your participation at a job fair. 

There are huge benefits one can get from attending a job fair – even if you don’t leave with a job offer. 

Here are some invaluable benefits:

Discover new companies – i.e. potential employers

One obvious benefit of attending job fairs is that you will inevitably meet (very interesting) companies that you have never heard of. That means that you will be expanding your horizons, professionally, and increasing your opportunities to find a job – in the short and long terms.

Invaluable insights from the recruiters

You’ll have the invaluable opportunity to talk with and hear from the people in charge of recruitment at several potential employers. You will be able to learn from them about some upcoming opportunities that are not yet advertised; what kind of skills and traits they are looking for in candidates; what the selection process is like; and many other pieces of information which may help you when you apply for a job.    

Chance to make a great impression (which might benefit you later)

It doesn’t matter if there aren’t immediate opportunities with your preferred companies. Meeting the recruiters face-to-face will allow you to make a good – or better, a remarkable – impression, and that will certainly help you in a future application. Simply by introducing yourself in a professional way, asking good questions and even by displaying assertive body language, you will leave a positive impression on the recruiters, which will count points in your favor if you apply for a job with the company in the near future.  

Chance to turn a NO into a YES

If you apply online for a job and get a rejection, there’s not much you can do. That’s the end of the road – at least concerning that application. 

However, we know of cases of candidates who used the opportunity to meet with a recruiter in person at a job fair to revert a rejection, and ultimately turn that into a job offer.

I work (or want to work) in Sport. Is there a job fair focused on the sports industry?

In the United States there are some career fairs focused in sports – many of them organized by the universities, while others are hosted by sports teams, such as the Sport & Entertainment Career Fair, hosted by the MLB team Boston Red Sox. TeamWork Online, a leading hiring platform and talent community in sports and entertainment, also hosts a series of career fairs and networking events. The events are focused in the local, US market.

Hosted in Switzerland, Europe – but with global reach – the event that stands out is the iWorkinSport Job Fair. Launched in 2017, the iWorkinSport Job Fair established itself as the first (and only) truly international career fair focused on the sports industry. It brings together some of the most relevant sports organizations on the planet, candidates from some of the best sports management programmes in the world and other highly qualified sports business professionals looking to find their next role.

Sports’ governing bodies, such as the International Olympic Committee, FIFA, UEFA, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), the African Football Confederation (CAF), the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), as well as global sports companies such as Infront Sports & Media, TEAM Marketing, Elevate Global, On Location, the World Football Summit and others have already confirmed their presence and will be recruiting at the event this year again.

How does that work?

At the iWorkinSport Job Fair, sports organizations post job offers for which candidates can apply in advance. The recruiters then assess the applications and book interviews with the candidates. Candidates who are not pre-selected for interviews still have the opportunity to meet all recruiters and have interviews at the Job Fair.

In addition to connecting (and having job interviews) with recruiters at their stands, attendees also benefit from a series of panels and presentations at the auditorium.

When and where does that happen?

The next iWorkinSport Job Fair will take place at the SwissTech Convention Center, in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Friday June 2nd, 2023.

How can I attend the iWorkinSport Job Fair?

Anyone can register to attend the job fair, while there are tickets available. To register follow this link.

The first 10 people to register with the promo code SPORTSPRO30 will get a 30% discount.

If I can’t attend it in person, is it possible to attend it digitally?

The upcoming job fair will be in-person only. However, iWorkinSport also hosts virtual job fairs. To know more about the iWorkinSport VIRTUAL Job Fair, click here.