IT Employment

Job fairs coming to a town near you

Targeted job fairs may offer an opportunity for employment but also may give you a peek into what's out there in terms of your career. Here are a few that are coming up.

Targeted job fairs may offer an opportunity for employment but also may give you a peek into what's out there in terms of your career. Here are a few that are coming up.


Job fairs may make some people feel like a needle in a haystack, but some are so targeted that they may be worth your while. Even if you're not looking for a job at the moment, it's sometimes fruitful just to mill about and see what's out there. (You may, however, want to don a wig or fake beard in case you run into your current employer.)

Here are some tech-concentrated job fairs that are coming up:

The Washington Post Career Fair

This happens on December 8 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 300 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA 22202. All job seekers must bring a hard copy of their resume to the event for evaluation prior to admittance to ensure that all pavilion-specific qualifications are met. For questions, visit

Targeted Job Fairs (Dice Holdings, Inc. is its parent company) produces career fairs in virtually every major market in North America. (For more information, click here.) Here's a list of upcoming job fairs for the Technology, Engineering, and Security Clearance Career fairs:

December 4, 2008 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Marriott Boston Burlington

Rt 128 & 3A (One Mall Road)

Burlington, MA 01803

December 8, 2008 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Four Points by Sheraton BWI Airport

7032 Elm Road

Baltimore, MD 21240

December 9, 2008 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Holiday Inn Express

4035 N. Nellis Boulevard

Las Vegas, NV 89115

January 13, 2009 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Holiday Inn Edison

3050 Woodbridge Avenue

Edison, NJ 08837

January 14, 2009 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. North Raleigh Hilton

3415 Wake Forest Road

Raleigh, NC 27609

January 22, 2009 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Windemere Hotel & Conference Center

2047 S. Highway 92

Ft. Huachuca, AZ 85635

January 27, 2009 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Marriott Huntsville

5 Tranquility Base

Huntsville, AL 35805

January 27, 2009 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dulles Expo & Conference Center

4368 Chantilly Center

Chantilly, VA 20153

January 29, 2009 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Doubletree Hotel Anaheim

2085 South Harbor Boulevard

Anaheim, CA 92802

January 29, 2009 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Network Meeting Center at Techmart

5201 Great America Parkway

Santa Clara, CA 95054

March 11, 2009 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Walter E. Washington Convention Center

801 Mount Vernon Place, NW

Washington, DC, DC 20001


Get Career Management tips in your inbox TechRepublic's Career Management newsletter, delivered each Tuesday and Thursday, offers tips for how to find a job and how to cope once you're there. Automatically sign up today!


Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.


I've been to several job fairs over my career and they are almost always a waste of time. I've only managed to get one interview as a result of a job fair and in that case I had carefully researched a handful of exhibiting companies in advance and knew what they were looking for before walking up and introducing myself. In today's job market I can imagine it could even be more discouraging if the fair is so packed it's difficult to make a good connection with a targeted recruiter. I find it much more useful to attend industry trade fairs where I can walk around and talk to people and learn about what companies are actually doing and network. I then follow up with every single person I spoke to within 24 hours. I've also printed a mini-resume on a business card that lists my contact info and core competencies and/or skills and give that to people if the situation lends itself. This of course isn't a replacement for a real resume which will come later, just a reminder for people you talk to of who you are when they get back to their office. It's kinda goofy to hand out resumes at industry fairs, but people are always exchanging business cards.


My experience - even with Dice's "extremely targeted" job fairs, is that they are a waste for everyone except the HR gang who are trying to look busy and keep their jobs. A much better bet is to go to the library and check out a copy of "Ask The Headhunter" or head to and check out the blog and weekly newsletter (free, of course). This guy has the best advice I've ever seen regarding job hunting and getting the job you want. No, it's not about resume writing or job boards - take a look. I can't recommend it strongly enough. And no I'm not a shill or paid by him. (But if you know a low-priced but talented web guy, his site needs a serious redesign and he knows it!) For the most part, companies come and collect tons of resumes (yes, I know, many of the resumes have nothing to do with the posted jobs). Then what? These folks do little or nothing useful - for you - with them (okay, they file, round file, add you to the "potential employee database", etc.). Don't expect to hear back from any of the five minute interviews. Really. It would be really nice if these job fair ads would list the specific positions each company is looking to fill, not generalized lists across all participants. That's the "bait" that brings in hundreds of people who leave either disappointed or filled with false hope. Often that's the fault of the HOSTING company, who is in the business of rounding up potential employers to pay for space at these events. The hosting companies don't want to be too specific in their advertising or else the hundreds of applicants promised to the participating companies just won't show up. Yes, occasionally a talented technical person finds a job through a job fair. Once in a while (rarely) one can make a good contact within a company through these events. Unfortunately, for the most part, job fairs offer a tremendous amount of false hope to job seekers. There are much more efficient ways to spend your job-search energies. Sorry about my tone. No, I'm really not bitter, and I'm not usually this cynical. I just want to keep my fellow IT professionals from wasting their time and energy. We're busy enough! (*Go see Ask the Headhunter!!) My advice regarding job fairs: Unless you see a specific position you want with a specific company advertised, don't bother. Even if you do, there are better ways to go after that job. If you really believe that next lottery ticket is going to make you a multi-millionaire then go right on ahead. Buy that ticket on the way to the fair. Just remember to pick up all the freebies the participating companies are offering; at least you'll leave with something more than you came in with. Good luck, and ONWARD!!


There was a federal job fair last month in Houston. Thousands wait outside in 100+ degree heat for hours just to get in to submit their resumes. Once inside they were told to go online and apply!!! Yes, I was one of them!!

Editor's Picks