From the handshakes to the handouts, it is the dance of the unemployed, and for so many it ends with an all too familiar refrain.
Vanessa McFarland has been out of work for a year.
"I've been on Craigslist, I've been on Career Builders, I've been on all of the Internet sites," said Vanessa McFarland from Richmond.
McFarland was the first in line for the East Bay HIREvent in Emeryville; ABC7 was one of the sponsors. The competition here was as tough as it is in the real world. There were 15 employers from retailers to insurance companies to law firms with 300 openings. Hundreds came with resumes in hand to snatch them up.
"I have my MBA, five to seven years experience with marketing. I've worked for major Fortune 500 companies. It's just the market is so saturated right now," said Mark Ivy.
But there are signs the Bay Area may finally be on the verge of a hiring boom.
"We see the staffing companies are really ramping up and so when they ramp up, it means that pretty soon the employers are all going to be hiring for permanent people, which is a really good sign," said job fair coordinator Kathy Caricato.
Last month, California's unemployment rate dropped for the third month in a row, down to 12 percent. However, there are still more than two million Californians out of work.
Will Simmons is not among the unemployed. After being out of work, be now does the hiring for a home improvement company.
"You don't really know what to expect when you come to an event like this, but the fact is you could find that diamond in the rough or what have you," said Simmons.
Simmons knows from personal experience; he got the job at a job fair, just like the one held on Tuesday.
May 24, 2011
Noon - 4 p.m.
DoubleTree Hotel San Jose
2050 Gateway Place
San Jose, CA 95110