By Lauren Breslin
Special to The Toronto Sun
Rarely do dream jobs come knocking at your door. Finding the right career for you means knowing the current job market, using effective job-searching strategies and talking to the right people.
Those who turn out at The National Job Fair & Training Expo, on April 6 and 7, may just have the competitive edge for a shot at that dream job. Presented by Jobboom.com, The National Job Fair & Training Expo, in collaboration with The Toronto Sun and the Ontario government, is a multi-sector event presented twice a year. This week's edition will be the largest yet, bringing together the expertise, contacts and know-how of some 110 exhibitors from a wide range of sectors, all under one roof.
"It's not just a job fair -- it's more than that," says Daniel Levesque, event organizer. "You'll be in contact with employers, training and educational facilities, HR specialists and career services. You can also listen to presentations and seminars, or discover new companies to work for."
Among the four main pavilions on site, the Employment Pavilion will be the largest, with an impressive increase of 40% over the previous edition. Here, job seekers will find professional recruiters -- all hunting for full- and part-time employees. With so many hiring managers in attendance, Levesque says there's a possibility of being hired right on the spot.
"I met someone in February in a trade show," recalls Levesque, "and he said, 'Hey, you know what? I got this job from your job fair!' So it really works. Of course, not 100 per cent of the people will be hired on site, but most offers will be filled in the following weeks. You'll get in touch with employers face to face. You'll get the job market on your side, totally dedicated to you for 20 hours in two days, which is something to consider seriously."
Training and education is another critical part of The National Job Fair & Training Expo. At the Training & Education Pavilion, you'll find informed personnel who can offer you
pertinent information about training opportunities, how much they cost and what grants are available.
Because the job market is always changing, insider tips on current and future job trends are essential for success. This is where the Employment & Career Services Pavilion comes in. "These are the people who offer resources, tips, help and support for those who need assistance finding the right contacts," Levesque says.
Back again this year, the Biz Launch Self-Employment Pavilion is for people looking to start their own small business. "There will be several seminars specifically for new entrepreneurs presented by renowned guest speakers," Levesque says.
Participants are advised to treat The National Job Fair & Training Expo as they would any other job interview.
"People should bring resumes, be well-dressed and ready for their one-minute sales pitch. First impressions are very important," Levesque says. Indeed, with more than 15,000 people expected to attend, it pays to think about your strengths and career goals well in advance, and be ready to "sell" yourself in a short period of time.
"There will be a lot of action," Levesque says, "so take 15 minutes upon arrival just to walk around to see what's there, and then decide which exhibitors you would like to meet.
"Be positive, outgoing, enthusiastic and patient -- those are the four big things. It's also important to do a follow-up with exhibitors after the show."
The National Job Fair & Training Expo is open today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (North Building), Exhibit Hall C. Admission is just $3.50.
For complete details, visit www.thenationaljobfair.com.
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