The Florida Pro chapter of The Society of Professional Journalists hosted a Freelance Fair on Saturday, an event which married 80 freelance journalists who are looking for gigs with representatives from 16 local publications, including The Miami Herald, Debt.com, RISE News and more.

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The community room at The Pride Center in Wilton Manors was set up expo-style with reps, lined up table by table, boasting their best “help wanted” pitches. Writers, photographers, bloggers and others meandered around freely in a no pressure environment. They could be choosy with who they wanted to meet.

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Caterina Balzano, an attendee who introduced herself to Gulf Stream Magazine, The Palm Beach Post and South Florida Gay News, said she enjoyed the fact that she was able to have intimate, one-on-one conversations with potential employers. 

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“The Freelance Fair concept leaves less room to be nervous about seeking a job and more opportunity to decide whom you want to speak to and hopefully work for,” she says. 

Along with the local outlets in attendance, job-seekers were able to make sure their resumes were in top-notch shape, with help from Linda Hamburger from On Call PR. Freelancers were also able to get all their tax-related questions answered from local representatives from H&R Block.

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We had a clue the job-seekers would appreciate the fair, but the most gratifying part was hearing positive reviews from nearly all publication representatives who attended.

“The SPJ Freelance Fair was a great opportunity to meet journalists from all over South Florida with a variety of valuable services to offer,” said Em Mendez, a rep from The Palm Beach Post who was publicizing two full-time job opportunities. “I’m glad I went.” 

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