Are job fairs worth investing your time?

Q. There’s a job fair in a few weeks at a big hotel. Is it worth my time? I’ve been looking for a job and haven’t heard back. Should I go? What should I bring, etc.?

A. When I worked in recruiting, I made a lot of valuable connections with candidates. Some weren’t a fit and were clearly unprepared; others were savvy and prepared ahead of time. Since so much of job searching occurs online, you may find an advantage with less people there than you anticipate. Yes, I recommend going. Sport an interview suit or professional attire and hard copies of your resume.

Research the companies that will be in attendance and look at their sites to see if there are interesting job openings. Have an elevator pitch prepared — you need to be succinct and articulate when meeting employers. Lastly, enjoy it! If you’re nervous or fidgety, that will come across. Be confident, relaxed and look at this as an opportunity to connect — if there aren’t job openings available now, then for the future.

Q. My boss is going to put me on a performance improvement plan. It sounds like she has her mind made up that I’m on the way out and this is one way to “document” everything before giving me the boot. But, it’s all made up! It’s not legit. My performance has been amazing — they made it sound in this document like I’m a slacker. I like the company and my job. Is it worth fighting and if so, how?

A. Sorry to hear this, but that’s great you like your job and the company. The question is though: do you really want to stay somewhere that’s doing this to you? That’s just some food for thought.

Back to your question: you may want to speak to an employment attorney. Ask if you can object to it if it’s not accurate nor factual and how to go about doing it such as looping in HR and putting everything in HR, but again — legal counsel will be able to hopefully help you. Before doing anything, including signing the PIP, I would speak to an attorney to guide you, how to push back, read the paperwork, hear your side of the story and specifically guide you for next steps.

Vicki Salemi is a career expert, former corporate recruiter, author, consultant, speaker, and career coach. Send your questions to For more information and to subscribe to Vicki’s newsletter, visit and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @vickisalemi.


Tribune News Service

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