The Importance of Career Fairs
The Importance of Career Fairs. The job-search process threatens to overwhelm students’ last few semesters of college. We are expected to research, apply, and interview for jobs and internships while continuing to manage our course load, social lives, on-campus responsibilities and Netflix schedules. The most important part of the process is networking. Naturally, this can be one of the most difficult things to accomplish—with overstuffed schedules, students can be at a disadvantage in building networks.
This is the environment where career fairs thrive. These events provide students with opportunities to interact with actual people from actual companies. Career fairs provide everything that students need to get the ball rolling on the job search.
But many fail to take advantage.
Career fairs are like oranges; you have to put in a little bit of effort to get to the good stuff. Preparation is the key to making a strong impression. Joy Doyle, Director of Career Development at Geneva College, says, “Preparation is the key to success when searching for a job. Employers notice when a student is dressed for success with resume in hand. Likewise, they notice when a student seems to be disengaged in the overall job-search process. Writing a good resume, learning how to confidently shake hands and introduce oneself helps to make a positive first impression. It’s important to remember that those first impressions count!”
If students prepare properly for a career fair, they open themselves to receive the full benefits. The events provide unique opportunities to interact with a large number of company recruiters that are on a mission to find prospective applicants. Having face-to-face interactions with recruiters is very important, and implants students in employers’ minds.
Some students don’t realize that career fairs are beneficial for companies, too. Companies send representatives to help improve their organizations. Popular Pittsburgh, a design firm, says that career fairs help them to “better understand students and their needs” and search for “younger blood” for their organizations. Donna Miskolcze of Adecco, a job-placement firm, adds that career fairs allow them to “meet students where they are” and “find the perfect job for the perfect student.”
And both of these companies report that Geneva students have an “awesome” reputation. Doyle affirms that this perception is widespread. “The employers we work with in career development are appreciative of the quality of our students, their work ethic and their interest in service.”
When entering the professional world it is important to overcome shyness and capitalize on the positive vibes that students receive from participating companies. The experience of presenting oneself professionally and interacting with different people is an extremely valuable use of time during the job-search. Even if your Netflix queue gets a little out of hand.