Career Fairs sweep campuses

March 13, 2012 at 8:00 am | Posted in career center | Leave a comment
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Coach Susan Sandberg

Susan Sandberg

Like your colleagues at campuses around the country you probably have been busy getting your students ready for Career Fairs at your school. You’ve reviewed student resumes, researched the attending companies, signed up students, and held preparation sessions. Career Fairs offer excellent opportunities for both internships and jobs.

Here’s how some of your colleagues at other colleges are handling this busy event:

  • Gustavus Adolphus College:  Over 130 Gustavus students will gather at the Minneapolis Convention Center, where they will interface with potential employers at the annual Minnesota’s Private Colleges Job and Internship Fair. Gustavus students who registered for the fair assembled for an orientation event designed to improve their interview skills ahead of meeting with representatives from hiring companies. For over 30 years, Minnesota’s Private Colleges Job and Internship Fair has been connecting graduating seniors with entry-level employment opportunities, in addition to matching many juniors and sophomores with valuable summer internships.  Registrants have been receiving a myriad of advice from the Center for Servant Leadership (CSL) via email. Preparations for the fair included a meeting, where 22 Gustavus alumni were on hand to give advice and provide the opportunity for students to participate in a series of mock interviews.
  • North Illinois University (NIU):  More than 148 employers are scheduled to see student faces at the Internship and Full-time Job fairs at NIU. Regardless of class or major, students are welcome to attend the Internship Fair while seniors and alumni are invited to attend NIU’s Full-Time Job Fair. Admission is free for NIU students, $5 for NIU alumni and $10 for non-NIU candidates. “Students who use the NIU job and internship search system, Huskies Get Hired – utilizing Victor eRecruiting – are finding success in identifying and applying for internships and full-time jobs,” said Brandon Lagana, director of marketing and information at Career Services. “They are hearing from employers about interviews.” Students can enhance their Spring 2012 career fair experience by following up with a visit to Career Services.  Other upcoming spring career fairs include: Mid-America Educators’ Job Fair for teacher certification students and Retail Leadership Expo.
  • Utah State University (USU) More than 40 businesses from Utah and across the U.S. participated in the recent annual Summer Jobs Fair at USU, offering a variety of job openings for students who are looking for work this summer.  The fair gave students a chance to find jobs and internships in many fields such as retail, satellite television sales, summer camps, hotels and resorts, campus employment and LDS employment. “I like how most of the jobs offer internships,” said USU student Eric Kunzler. “I’m a business administration major, and a lot of jobs like Camp Hunt and Bear World offer internships, so that’s interesting for me.” “We are offering summer internships,” said Frank Asbell, the representative from Bear World at the fair. “We have people doing things like diet and food prep, health and safety checks, exhibit maintenance, guiding the tours, animal education.” Representatives from the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation and the Jackson Trading Company also attended.
  • University of Maryland:   More than 300 employers will be available during the upcoming three-day Spring Career & Internship Fair, including 212 employers recruiting for non-technical positions and 202 employers looking to fill technical positions. More than 100 employers are looking to hire for both types of positions. William Jones Jr., the Associate Director for External Relations at the University Career Center & The President’s Promise, wrote an excellent editorial for the campus newspaper that you might want to share with your own students. 
    • Here are excerpts from his insider suggestions:  
      • Collect as many business cards as you can and make a good first impression, so when it is time to apply for a position you can stand out by referencing that connection in your cover letter.
      • Do not ask the employer “what kind of positions do you have” or “what is your organization all about?” Research the organizations that are expected to attend the fair beforehand.
      • Yes, the recruiter may ask you to apply online. When you do apply online, use the knowledge you gained from speaking with the recruiter at the fair to highlight what’s really important from the organization’s point of view. And reference that conversation in your written materials.
      • Try to get on their interview schedule. Many employers are at the fair to encourage top candidates to get on their interview schedule as part of our On-Campus Interviewing Program.
      • Use the fair to put a face to your application. With the current economy, if your application materials are generic, the employer will move on to the next candidate. Put yourself in the position of the recruiters and ask yourself what would make you stand out in their mind.

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