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Job Fairs: Fast Track to Federal Careers

Job Fairs: Fast Track to Federal Careers

If you’re in a rush to get hired (and what job seeker isn’t?), attend federal job fairs.

Lily Whiteman | Federal Career Coach

If you’re in a rush to get hired (and what job seeker isn’t?), attend federal job fairs. Why?

Because many federal employers recruit at job fairs via fast-track hiring procedures, which may even include on-the-spot offers. What’s more, many of the jobs and internships that are filled at job fairs are never advertised anywhere else.

Federal employers frequently participate in several types of job fairs: they may sponsor their own job fairs and/or recruit at job fairs that are attended by other federal employers and other private sector employers.

Unfortunately, however, job fairs that feature federal recruiters are usually not advertised on USAJOBS. Here is how to find them:

• Regularly surf through the career sections of the websites of your target agencies as well as the websites of each target office within each target agency. An A-to-Z list of agency websites is posted at

See list of 2009 Federal Job Fairs here.

Note that some agencies participate in job fairs particularly frequently. These agencies include the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the FBI, intelligence agencies that are linked to, and Foreign Service agencies, which include the State Department, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce and the United States Agency for International Development.

• Find ads for job fairs in the Sunday classifieds of The Washington Post and/or your local newspaper.

• Conduct “Google” searches using 1) the name of each of your target agencies along with keywords, such as “job fairs” and “career fairs”; 2) or the name of your target city along with keywords, such as “job fairs” and “career fairs.”

• Check Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s website at for information about her annual job fairs in Washington DC, which always feature dozens of federal agencies. Congresswoman Norton’s 12th Annual Job Fair is scheduled for Thursday, July 16, 2009.

Bookmark the Partnership for Public Service’s list of job fairs at

If you are a member of a minority, attend conferences and other events that are sponsored by minority organizations, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Society of Black Engineers, and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. Federal employers frequently recruit at such events.

If you are currently a student, ask the career office of your college or university for a schedule of upcoming job fairs at your school and at other local venues. (Note that federal employers regularly recruit at minority colleges and universities.)

Ask other job-hunters and other people who are in your field to refer you to upcoming job fairs that would be helpful to you.

See list of 2009 Federal Job Fairs here.

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