Students seeking post-graduation jobs or summer internships will have an opportunity to meet with potential employers face-to-face at the Spring Career Fair today, Feb. 9.
Over 30 local employers from diverse fields will host informational booths in the McIntosh Conservatory from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. The dress code is business formal, and students may come and go as they please.
Career Services Director Candace Owens said those planning to attend should be especially mindful of how they may be perceived by recruiters. Students should be sure their shoes are clean, their clothes are ironed and their personal hygiene and grooming are in order before arriving, Owens said.
“First impressions are lasting impressions,” Owens said in a career fair preparation workshop. “[Employers] do make notes, and sometimes recruiters have left notes about a student saying, ‘This student wore too much cologne,’ or ‘This student talked too much.’ Just be aware of how you are presenting yourself to the recruiters.”
In addition to looking presentable, students should also make an effort to polish up their resume before arriving, Owens said. She said making a list of preferred companies beforehand is often an effective strategy.
“You can have a general resume, just in case you run into other companies,” Owens said. “But if you know there are a couple of employers you specifically want to meet with, it’s okay to make your resume specifically focused towards them.”
Those interested in getting a head start on networking can log into the Eagles at Work portal via MyOC to pre-register and view employers who are attending the Career Fair. Students may also drop resumes electronically to employers they are interested in and make advance contact with recruiters via email.
According to a study from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 60 percent of college graduates who worked a paid internship while studying received a post-graduation job offer in their field, whereas just 36 percent of those with no internship experience had similar success. Junior accounting major Tim Sartors said he hopes the career fair will allow him to find a resume-boosting summer internship.
“I had a job last summer, but it wasn’t in the field I’m going into to,” Sartors said. “Trying to find something more targeted toward my field is a little stress inducing. I worry about the future and whether or not I am going to be able to get a solid internship that will look good on a resume, and not just another buffer job.”
Sartors said Career Services helped him gain the necessary skills to network effectively with employers. According to Career Services, students should not hesitate to approach groups already in discussion, and should take any business cards or notes offered by recruiters.
“Without someone helping you along the way, you can have trouble,” Sartors said. “The first career fair I went to, I had no clue what I was doing, so I kind of wandered around to different tables. I was too nervous to talk to anyone, so I just grabbed stuff off the table and waited to see if they were going to invite me over. If not, I would walk away.”
Senior business major Bailey Malm said she feels prepared for the Career Fair and for what employers are expecting of applicants.
“It’s really awesome what Candace does, providing information about the employers and what positions they’re looking for,” Malm said. “You can be really prepared going in.”
According to Owens, if there is a positive connection then students should ask recruiters when they plan to start looking at resumes and interviewing potential hires. Emailing and connecting with recruiters on LinkedIn are good ways to follow up, Owens said.