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Realistic Employment Workshop: Attend a Job Fair (with a list of Chicago area events, March 2012)

Updated on March 12, 2012

Many Advantages to Attending a Job Fair

The Realistic Employment Workshop advises anyone seriously seeking employment to attend a job fair in their area on a regular basis.

You will most likely not find the perfect employer waiting for you there with a donut and cup of coffee, but you most assuredly will be able to learn a lot about yourself as a socially interacting person in the midst of other people in the same situation as you -- people yearning for better connections with the world of employment. You can also learn as much as you digest in one day about various companies hiring in your area and what kind of people they look for.


1. General principles
Don't be shy, but don't be difficult.
Have ready a one-minute answer about yourself;
who you are, what you've done, and what you want.
Ask questions and listen to answers.
Take notes on company cards and literature.
Pick up applications and brochures.
Learn what companies do, and what they need people to help them do.
Ask questions of other applicants.
Get acquainted with other people, care about them.
Make contact, and keep track of names (it's called networking).
Networking is the indispensable key to getting a good job and holding it.
Totally selfish people are, by definition, unemployable, socially dysfunctional.
Employment means cooperating with other people in a common purpose.
You go to a job fair to learn, learn, learn how things work in the world of work.

2. Pre-register if you can (some firms look at resumes beforehand).
Wash your face, comb your hair, dress professionally (first impressions!).
Bring 20 resumes (just in case).
Ask for a business card of all employer reps you meet.
Ask each company -- what does it do, when, where, and why?
Ask for a "corporate mission statement" and "annual company report."
You never know too much what companies actually do,
how they think, why they need employees!

3. Wake employer reps up with questions like these:
"How much money did your company make last year?"
"How many states, or countries, do you operate in -- and why?"
"What's your average level of education and salary in my skill range?"
"What kind of computer systems do you use,
and how often do you change them?"

4. Every metro area has periodic job fairs locatable on the Internet.
Most public and school libraries have a special section for employment.
For more help, ask the adult reference desk at your local public library
(for a special discount, say that Max Havlick sent you!).
On networking, read Mark Granoveter's revealing book, The Power of Weak Ties.

5. The U.S. Dept. of Labor has a "Job Corps" program that provides career technical training at 125 centers across the nation, including special help for transitioning military services members. For more information, go to, or call (800) 733-JOBS.

6. The bi-weekly Federal Jobs Digest (in most public libraries) lists available white-collar and blue-collar federal jobs organized by area of job location. Good info on how to apply for jobs in the federal government, with list of personnel offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Kansas City, Norfolk, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. The March 16-29 issue lists 5,622 jobs currently open! Publication is not associated with the Federal Government, but uses information from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management,

Here we list some of the job fairs that will occur soon in the Greater Chicago area.

Tuesday, March 13, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Chicago Career Fair, at Doubletree Hotel, 5000 W. 127th St., Alsip, IL 60803, all types of industries.

Friday, March 16, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Chicago Career Fair, at Holiday Inn, 350 W. Mart Center Drive, Chicago, IL 6054. Employers include Walgreens, Crain's Chicago Business, IL Action for Children, St. Joseph Hospital, Aon Corp., etc.

Wednesday, March 21, 5-8 p.m., ECC Diversity Recruitment Fair,at Visual and Performing Arts Center Commons of Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, IL. Faculty (regular and adjunct), instructors, tutors, administrative staff. Includes a job search workshop.

Thursday, March 22, 1-3 p.m., Chicago West Area Sales and Management Career Fair, at Holiday Inn Oakbrook Terrace, 17 West 350 22nd St., Oakbrook Terrace, IL. All jobs relating to sales and marketing. Be on time, bring your resume and your understanding why a good company needs good people in its sales and marketing departments. Be ready to present yourself as a problem-solver in these areas.

Thursday, March 22, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Life Time Fitness Job Fair, at 1200 Lakeview Drive, Romeoville, IL 60446. Full and part-time jobs in kids activities, group fitness, member services, facility operations, sales, personnel training. Dress casual, bring resume.

Monday, March 26, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Chicago West Career Fair, at Marriott Chicago Oak Brook, 1401 W. 22nd St., Oak Brook, IL 60523. Free resume reviews. You may go to to register, get a list of companies, and/or paste your resume into the data base accessible to all the employers. Sponsored by Edward Jones (financial services), MSC Industrial Supply (100 branches nationwide), Prudential Insurance (incl. real estate, etc.), MicroTrain Technology (career services, job training).

Wednesday, March 28, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Hiring Our Heroes Veterans Event, at the Hilton Chicago Hotel, 720 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL. Sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, DOL-vets, IDES, VFW, American Legion, ESGR, and Illinois Controller Judy Baar Topinka. Free employment fair for all veterans, National Guard and Reserve members, and eligible spouses. Free to both employers and job seekers. Note that registration closes March 20th. Register online at For registration questions, go to

Thursday, March 29, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., NSHP Chicago Bilingual Professional Job Fair, at Chicago Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60611. Top-quality employers seeking professional candidates with bilingual language skills. Dress professionally and bring several resumes.

Thursday, March 29, noon to 4 p.m., Government Career and Information Fair, at Joseph Gentile Center on the Lake Shore Campus of Loyola University Chicago, 6339 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL 60660. Co-sponsors include Loyola and other area universities. Reps from federal, state, and local governments will be recruiting candidates for both full-time jobs and internships. Government jobs vary so greatly that students from all educational backgrounds and experience levels are welcome.

Thursday, April 5, 9 to 11:30 a.m., Veterans Job Search and Services Workshop, at WorkNet DuPage Career Center, 2525 Cabot Drive, Suite 302, Lisle, IL 60532, (630) 955-2040. For transitioning veterans and unemployed veterans, the workshop covers job search and services available from Illinois Dept. of Employment Security, DuPage County Veterans Assistance Commission, Illinois Veterans Affairs, and WorkNet DuPage.

Please advise of typos and other errors, or your suggestions for improving this hubpage.

Good luck! And let us know how this information works out for you.

Copyright (c) 2012 by The Max Havlick School, a project of New World Community Enterprises, Inc., Villa Park, IL 60181-1938, all rights reserved. We are not an employment agency, but we help any serious individual (a) find a good job, and/or (b) host an employment workshop in their home, office, or other local venue. Contact Max directly and confidentially via e-mail through the HubPages box above.


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