Every year as our Spring Internship & Career Fair approaches I hear students suggest that the career fair is a waste of time. They offer a number of reasons (the "myths" I talk about below), the biggest of which, especially this year, is that "no one is hiring". It is true there are always going to be companies who attend job fairs to stay "out there" and promote their brand, even when they don't have jobs available. Of course, to bemoan this is to miss the point entirely. Job fairs are never about getting a job. At least, not directly.
Job seekers frequently get frustrated when they apply online to a job and never get a response. They are annoyed that they never have an opportunity to speak to a real person and instead must apply to the online "black hole" and hope someone pulls them out. Yet, when presented with an opportunity to meet real people with hiring authority, they consider it a waste of time because a job offer might not be the immediate result.
Job fairs are first, and foremost, a networking opportunity. They are the "foot in the door" that everyone is always looking for, the chance to make a real connection with a real person and to develop a relationship for the future. Now, this is little comfort to someone who is unemployed and desperate for work but the reality is that people like to hire someone they "know". Often that comes in the form of a referral from a friend or current employee, but connections made at a fair offer the same opportunity. This is a chance for a mini-interview. Job seekers who take the time to research the company, ask intelligent questions, express focus and genuine interest and do not reek of desperation ("I don't care what it is I"LL DO ANYTHING!!") can make a valuable first impression at a job fair.
Don't let the myths keep you out of this, or other Career Fairs:
MYTH 1: I don’t need to go to the fair because no one is hiring anyway.
MYTH 2: The job fair is only for Business majors.
MYTH 3:I don’t need to go to the career fair because all the recruiters just tell me to apply online anyway.
MYTH 4: The career fair is only for people who want to live and work in Connecticut.
The job market is not as bad as it seems! You may have friends and family out of work, you may know recent graduates who are having a hard time finding a job. Just remember this: Everyone is different and YOU only need one job. You don’t need a full economic recovery or for the unemployment rate to drop to 3%. YOU need ONE JOB. Companies ARE hiring for entry-level positions. It is competitive. You will have to be diligent in your search, aggressively network and not sit back and apply online and hope for phone calls. Career Fairs are an excellent opportunity for this.
Don’t miss the chance to NETWORK with the employers face to face! Make a good impression now and they will remember you later! GET ON THEIR RADAR. We have had many students use the relationships they start at a fair to get internships and full-time jobs months, and even years, later.
We have more than 90 organizations coming who want to talk to YOU! The vast majority of the employers attending are willing to speak with ANY MAJOR. They are hiring for a wide variety of positions.
You NEED to have a resume with you…but they might not take it.These days almost every employer will require you to apply online through their website. There are a number of reasons for this and they have nothing to do with you personally. It doesn’t matter anyway because you are coming to the job fair to make CONNECTIONS with PEOPLE not spam your resume to every employer in the room. HAVING A RESUME ALSO SHOWS THAT YOU ARE PREPARED. Use your resume as an introduction and a conversation starter. If they keep it, great. If they give it back to you and ask you to apply online instead, do so. The important thing is to ENGAGE the recruiterand ask some questions that demonstrate you prepared for them so that when you DO apply online they REMEMBER YOU.
Many of the recruiters attending WILL be from the Connecticut offices of their organization. It makes sense for them to send the closest representative. However, many of the companies attending are NATIONAL and INTERNATIONAL companies with opportunities everywhere. This is your chance to make a PERSONAL CONNECTION with a recruiter and convince them you are a quality candidate worthy of a referral to the recruiter in the location you prefer.
The Fair is from 1:00-4:00pm on Wednesday, February 17th in the Pitt Center.
DON’T MISS IT!
Professional attire is REQUIRED.
(THIS CAREER FAIR IS NOT OPEN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC. IT IS FOR CURRENT SHU STUDENTS AND ALUMNI ONLY)