It’s time to assert confidence and display your resume and begin the job or internship search you have been putting off. This Thursday, April 3, the Office of Experiential Learning and Career Management (ELCM) will host the spring 2014 Job and Internship Fair in the SMC Marauder Court from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Students will be able to meet with over 100 national and regional employers looking for full-time, part-time and summer employees and interns.
“My goal is to see 500 students and alumni attend this year’s Job and Internship Fair. We came very close to that amount last year,” said Melissa Wardwell, Interim Director of ELCM.
This past week, ELCM has offered several opportunities to prepare students to meet with potential employers, including a networking workshop and resume critiques.
ELCM regularly offers resume and LinkedIn reviews and other workshops, and there are many more helpful resources available on their website. For those who are trying to prepare last-minute for the fair, students are encouraged to watch CareerSpots, which are short videos that highlight specific aspects such as interviewing tips or how to deliver the best elevator pitch to a prospective employer.
There are also videos on the ELCM webpage that contain footage of an actual job fair with advice from employers and recruiters that students should watch so they can know what to expect. If you like all of your information in one book, a Job Search Guide is also available on ELCM’s webpage. One of the most important messages ELCM emphasizes is the notion that “every interaction is an opportunity to make a positive impression.”
“Students need to be aware of how they are presenting themselves to the outside world,” says Wardwell, who recommends students seeking full-time and internship employment wear interview appropriate clothing for this event. For men, she suggests a suit or a collared shirt and tie with dress pants and dress shoes, and for women, she suggests a suit or dress pants or a skirt with a professional top with dress shoes.
While looking presentable is important, it is only one half of an interaction. Students also need to do their research and be prepared, Wardwell says. Employers will be impressed with students who already know about their company, which is why ELCM has a complete Job Fair Employer Guidebook available on their website which includes a description of each company, their contact information and whether or not they are looking for interns, full time employees, or both.
“It is important for students to start having conversations now in order to establish and build relationships. Students should know what their skills are and what they are looking for when they attend this event,” says Wardwell.
Students should also remember to bring many copies of their resume in a professional looking folder and to turn off their cellphones. There is only a short amount of time to present yourself to an employer, and you don’t want to look unprepared or seem unprofessional, states the ELCM guidebook.
Remember that ELCM is here to help students even after the Job and Internship fair in their search for career opportunities. One company that will not be at the fair but will be coming to MU a day after is Quality Bicycle Products (QBP), a wholesale distributer that serves the cycling industry. On Friday, April 4, representatives of QBP will be available by the juice bar in the SMC to talk with students interested in becoming a summer employee for the Lancaster based company.
For more information visit their website: http:www.qbp.com. Other companies who are scheduling on-campus recruitment visits following the job fair are Donegal Insurance, Fastenal Company and ING Financial Partners. Donegal is looking for fulltime Claims Trainees, Fastenal Company is looking for full-time interns and sales trainees and ING Financial is looking for full-time Financial Advisors. Stay tuned for an email from ELCM or keep checking their webpage for specific information about these visits.
Even if you are not necessarily looking for an internship or job from any of these companies, this fair serves as an opportunity to practice your interviewing skills and gain experience on how to present yourself.
“In this economy, students need to take advantage of every opportunity they can to connect with employers. Students who do not attend will be passing up an opportunity to meet with employers who are specifically here to recruit MU students,” Wardwell said.