Job seekers pay to find a job at NC State career fair

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Paying to find a job—it’s what’s happening at one career fair that took place in Raleigh.

There were 16 firms and over 300 people packed into a suite at PNC arena for a sports and entertainment career fair sponsored by NC State Athletics–and everyone—companies and participants, paid money to be there.

Consumer investigator Steve Sbraccia wanted to know if NC State was making a profit on the event.

Ryan Kindt, who is the Director of Ticket Sales for NC State Athletics said, “We don’t make a penny off this.”

Those looking for work paid $55 to attend the career fair, which included a ticket to the NC State football game against Syracuse.

Kindt says the recruiting taking place at the career fair “is for internships or basic level jobs coming in.”

Although the event offers a game ticket as part of the inducement, experts who help people look for jobs say—paying to talk to prospective employers at a job fair isn’t recommended.

“It’s a job seekers market,” said Zane Sonsa who is a Senior Vice President at the Robert Half Organization. “In my mind you shouldn’t need to pay a fee to go to a job fair.”

Many of those who came to the events at PNC Arena are seeking a first job.

“If you are starting your career, entry level or up-and-comer, it can make sense to go to a job fair as much to get a feel for the different companies and opportunities,” said Sonsa.

Those CBS 17 spoke with at the career fair said they didn’t mind paying a fee for the chance to network.

“There’s a lot of part time work in there, but it’s also about connections and getting your foot in the door,” said job seeker Foster Dubar.

Eliot Benedict was also attending.

“I didn’t expect to walk out with a job,” he said. “But, there’s a few leads I can apply for.”

Organizers say all the money collected from vendors and participants is being used to pay for the rental of the space at the PNC Arena as well as for other expenses like credit card processing fees and the cost of the football ticket.

Headhunters like Sonsa say, if you are more established in your career—you should avoid job fairs because you won’t find a job there.

He says more established workers should instead concentrate on networking groups—social media—and using contacts you already have to find jobs as well as looking at companies like his which specialize in finding employment in specific fields.

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