Job seekers can skip the job fairs, but need to brush up on social skills and networking, say researchers from the job-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Networking is the most valuable tool for job seekers, their most recent survey said, followed by social/professional networking sites, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

The survey of human resource executives rated job fairs as the least effective search method, said John A. Challenger, Challenger, Gray & Christmas CEO.

Despite the face-to-face interaction at job fairs, “it hardly qualifies as networking,” he said. And, the company’s representative at the fair is “rarely” a decision maker.

Internet job boards, however, were rated No. 3, on a scale of 1 (least effective) to 5 (most effective).

Management recruiting firms and employer Web sites also were rated a 3. Cold-calling employers came in at 2.25.

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Dead last was job fairs at 1.5.

“A job search is a multi-faceted process,” Challenger said. “Those who rely on just one tool, even if it is networking, will take longer to find a position.”


  1. I would tend to agree with that except on the recruiting side. I would have to say the % is higher if the candidate is qualified and degreed. In cases that they are the placement rate working with a recruiter in thier field is very high.

    Ken Cantin
    Director of Healthcare
    Management Recruiters of Colorado Springs.

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