Rose and I have both lost our jobs due to this recession that may or may not be over.  She has been out of work for much longer than I have, but nonetheless, we are both itching to find good jobs and get back out there.  I know that this normally is a photography blog, but I feel that this needs to be put out there.

A few days ago, a friend emailed Rose about a job fair at Longfellows in Saratoga yesterday.  All he had was a scan of an advertisement for vendors, telling them that the job fair would be yesterday from 10am til 4pm.  I was excited for the chance to possibly get my resume out to a potential employer or two, hoping I could get back to work.

So, I Google “Job fair Longfellows”, “Longfellows job fair”, “Saratoga job fair Longfellows”, and a few other terms to find more info on this job fair, because I like to be prepared.  It’s also a good hike to Saratoga from Albany, and I didn’t want to drive all the way up there and waste their time and mine if the jobs were not suitable for me or vice versa.  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing came up on Google.  Wait.  One hit.  This crappy little blurb on a job fair at Longfellows and a chance to win $100.  No listings of participating employers.  Who is this job fair for?  Were they hiring staff for Longfellows, or were there actual companies in the area looking to hire qualified employees?  Who knows?

Either way, I really need a job.  So, Rose jumped in the shower, and I got busy ironing my shirt and getting a nice tie to wear with my suit.  I am an old school kind of guy.  If I were to go for an interview at McDonalds making minimum wage, I would wear a suit and tie.  It’s the way it should be.

When we get to Longfellows, there were no signs in the parking lot or on the entryways to the building.  We guessed that it would be in the restaurant area, so in we went.  We walked in and found our way to the area that held the job fair.  There we about 10 or 12 companies in attendance.  Well, at least we made an effort.  If you don’t go, you don’t know, right?

If I were one of the ten or twelve companies that were there, I would have been very upset that I spent between $400 and $900 for a print and booth package and no one showed up.  The advertising for this event was horrible.  Huge FAIL!

But, wait.  There’s more.

I have also been to quite a few of the job fairs at the Marriott on Wolf Road.  They are put together in a much better manner.  The Times Union does a great job advertising this event on their site and in print.  There are usually 50 plus companies that participate in this job fair.  A lot of times, they are the same ones that are there every single time, looking to fill the same exact position they were looking to fill last time.  A lot of them are life insurance sales that require you to get licenses and Series this and that.  No thanks. To quote Austin Powers “that ain’t my bag, baby!”

Others may be positions I am qualified for, so I drop off my resume and chat them up, hoping I make a good impression. Hopefully, they will like me and call me in for an interview.

As I move about through the job fair, though, I notice lots of things.  I am a people watcher.  I love watching people and trying to figure out what’s going on in their heads.  Let’s go back to my McDonalds comment.  I ALWAYS wear a suit to an interview.  As I walk through the crowds of people, I see sagging pants, baseball caps, jeans and a menagerie of other things that makes me wonder what the heck is wrong with people.  How do you expect to get a job dressed like that?  Or, did I miss the memo?

When did it become OK to present yourself as a slob at a job fair?  What happened to being respectful?

Another thing that really bothers me about the companies that attend these events is that you go there to meet the potential employers and give them your resume.  At a good number of the booths, the companies wont take your resume.  You must go to their website and fill out an application online.

Say what?  Why are you here?  Why did you spend the hundreds of dollars it must cost to be here if you can’t do anything more than chat with people all day?  What a waste of money.  Here’s an idea – take that money and donate it to a local charity, give a valuable employee a bonus, advertise online, something.  Maybe  I am missing something, but it just doesn’t make sense to me.

Am I really missing something?  Is it just a write-off?  Please comment and subscribe.  See ya soon…

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