Wasted my time and money for a career fair today.

There’s a certain large media conglomeration in Western Canada that runs career fairs throughout Western Canada over the year with promise of ‘Jobs for EVERYONE!’

The advertisement, I’ve seen it for years, reads ‘Come one come all! Dress to impress and bring your resume and get ready to work!’ The advertisement also lists that it’s for those serious about taking the next step with their career and that companies would be present from all over Western Canada, including some big logo brands that operate on a National and International scale.

I thought to myself ‘You need to go. You don’t have a job and if there’s big brands there, you could use that as a means to connect yourself to the offices in Calgary that you want to be at. It’s a better option than not going.’

So I went.

I drove half an hour to get there.

I paid $25 to get into the career fair because I believed that, like the advertisement suggested, I would be face to face with HR managers of some of the best companies and organizations in Western Canada.

$25 is not a lot of money, in the grand scheme of things. But it is also a lot of money when you are presently unemployed, as I am. I felt a little as though they were taking advantage of people who were unemployed in charging a fee to enter this career fair, but I also tried to remind myself that probably not everyone there was unemployed, there were probably some people who have jobs who just want better jobs or to change their career. So I let it go… at the time.

What I found upon spending some time in this career fair was that it was not, in fact, a ‘Come one come all’ type of career fair. This career fair was not for everyone. This career fair was almost strictly for those who work trades/labour positions – mechanics, electricians, builders, etc…

Possessing none of the skills or education required for a trades position, I felt as though I was duped out of $25.

There also no major companies there – not the one’s listed on the flyer. All of these companies were local. They were advertising people being able to be in front of hiring managers for these big, wide reaching companies and what my $25 got me was in front of the people who own the mom and pop shops downtown.

I have nothing wrong with mom and pop shops, don’t get me wrong. But I don’t need to pay $25 to talk to them. I can go in there any day of the week and talk to them. The reason that none of these mom and pop shops have given me a job thus far is because I do not work in trades. I am not an electrician, I don’t drive logging trucks, etc… so having me work for their company would do them no good.

This was a really disheartening activity for me to try and take part in. In trying to salvage the experience so that it wasn’t a total waste, I tried to hang my resume to three places, telling them if they had any office positions open up they should keep me in mind. The response I was met with was ‘Oh, we’re not actually accepting any resumes here today. You need to apply online. We’re only here to inform candidates of our existence’.

This had me thinking ‘why did the advertisement read ‘bring your resume and be ready to work’ if no one actually wants to collect resumes? I asked one of the women why she wasn’t taking resumes and she said ‘It’s all done online these days!’ I kindly responded with ‘Then what’s the point in taking part in a career fair?’ Her response was ‘To meet new candidates and direct them to our website!’ I, as nicely as I could, said ‘Thank you so much for wasting my time and money today’. She herself probably didn’t deserve that level of snark. It was more the organizers that should have suffered the wrath of my snark but at this point I was really pissed off.

They advertise ‘Come one come all’ for a career fair that isn’t actually a career fair, but rather an information session about how to find the website to apply for jobs. They make it seem as though this career fair is for everyone across all industries when in reality, it was 90% for trades and labour positions and 10% educational institutions trying to convince people to sign up for more schooling. They include logos of big brands, big companies that operate Canada wide and make note of their being positions available across the Province and beyond leading people to believe these companies might just be there… when they’re not. Not one company who’s logo was on the flyer was at the career fair today. They say ‘Bring your resume’ and then no one who is there is accepting resumes.

I just… I’m so disappointed that I was this easily duped.

Needless to say I’ll think twice before I attend a career fair any time soon.

I didn’t have high hopes going in, but I had hopes. Hopes that if I could talk to the right person I could wow them with my sparkling personality start a genuine business connection. I was met with a lackluster excuse of a ‘Career Fair’ in which I’m ultimately sure the organizers took a lot of money from A LOT of people today who don’t work in trades and got duped just as I did.

On the way out I mentioned to one of the women doing reception that the career fair was largely geared towards those in trades and wasn’t meant for someone without a trades education, like myself. She agreed with me. I inquired if I could get a refund of my $25 or, at the very least some of my money back. She said ‘No, you went in, it was your choice whether or not you used that opportunity to make the connections you needed.’

I don’t say this a lot because I try not to call people this name… but she was an ignorant bitch.

I got duped.

Onto the next, I guess.

37 thoughts on “Wasted my time and money for a career fair today.

  1. I say, you put put pen to paper and outline all the flaws while demanding a full refund, including you gas and time because they are falsely misrepresenting the fair as well as themselves for a profit.

    Who knows, they may respond and comply in part or have a lead in your expertise.

    At least you’ll feel a bit better. And what if it’s an open door overlooked?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re right. I was thinking of just writing a nasty review for it on google. I just… wanted to make sure it was a poignant review so that it helps people potentially thinking about it who might google the job fair. I want it to be a helpful nasty review, and not just me sounding like a petty little whiner, if that makes sense.

      But I should consider writing that right to the Group. See how they respond.

      They peddle this job fair through towns all over Western Canada and I feel like it’s probably a money grab everywhere now…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m very sorry you had this awful experience. It sounds like false advertising to me, and you should be able to get a refund, but it probably isn’t worth your time or energy pursuing it any further. Congrats for going. I’m sorry it was a con.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks.
      You have to be a special breed of horrible human to take advantage of, and take money from people you know are unemployed. Even if some of the people there do have jobs they’re just looking for something better, you know that a lot of people there are unemployed. That makes the organizers horrible people in my opinion.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I am sorry you had to experience this!
    We have such job “fairs” here too, but at least they are free of charge and inform attendees in advance to not bring any resumes. As has already been said it is false advertisement and I agree with what you say – it takes a “special” breed of human to take advantage of unemployed people in such a manner.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Who better to do it than you my friend. You’re like a little firework almost ready to go off! Do you believe in divine timing? Trust me, when the time is right you will have the perfect opportunity to display all your colours


  4. Damn! That is a very expensive way to be redirected to their website. It’s good you’re speaking up. Isn’t it illegal to advertise something you’re not offering? I mean imagine you buy tickets to see, let’s say Harry Styles but instead you can listen to your neighbor who practices the flute? I understand why you went, I hope something good can still come out of this. You never know if someone will think of the girl with the snarky remarks and decide that she is the asset to the compagny. Just maybe not in the field they put out at the ‘fair’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not really illegal, it’s just shady.

      Putting the logo of a company on they knew wasn’t coming because they can just say that said company ‘sponsored’ the event.

      Saying ‘Come one come all’ can be spun as them not wanting to be discriminatory.

      Stuff like that… it just goes on all the time. It’s sad, really.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Where to begin with this one? False advertising at the very least, but this sounds like either an extremely pootly orgamised and thought out event or an out and out scam. I would have been furious, too. I don’t know what the rules are on trade descriptions in Canada but it sounds as if you have a case for a refund!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I emailed them last night and asked for a refund and kindly let them note that ‘Come one come all’ should have been followed by ‘for positions in the trades’!


  6. I’m sorry that you experienced this!! I’m sending positive vibes your way, and hope you find something soon! Just a lil fyi, there’s a website that pays you to translate things/send voice overs for people who are blind. I did that while i was unemployed but i am not sure if it’s a local thing! You should try to check it out. It really helped me while i was unemployed, i believe its $25 per each one that you do.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. People looking for jobs in the trades often don’t have resumes. Put in a complaint to the organizers. They should be more clear on what kind of fair this is and what kinds of jobs are available. Sounds like they are stuck in the old world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you<3 I still have high hopes, even though things like that career fair are disheartening. And your kind comment really helps make me feel good. ❤


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