Avoiding the career fair cattle chute

Sometimes it seems like these huge job fairs are big waste. It's like seeing cattle herded into the chute. But, says Gloria Leidel, a longtime job counselor from Goodwill Industries of Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia, there is a strategy to using them to your advantage. You shouldn't go into one expecting to get a job (hope is OK, though). Instead, consider them a way of getting information. What type of jobs are available? What is the best way to apply? Where are these jobs? What is involved in them? What distinguishes a successful candidate from the rest of the resumes? How often do resumes drop in and out of their online employment system? Is it best to apply to multiple locations or one at a time? Of course, leave a resume, if you can, but do your best to find out what you need to get the job.

interviewed Gloria Leidel on Monday in the Philadelphia Inquirer. She takes a common-sense approach, but when you haven't had to look for a job for awhile, it might be hard to remember what constitutes "common sense" these days. We also had an online chat on Monday. You can read the transcript by clicking here.