Are On-campus Job Fairs Worth the Effort?

Popular websites like Monster and LinkedIn have almost made people forget about the time tested way that young professionals can gain employment, the job fair. Although generating a profile and posting resumes online is an efficient way to advertise one’s skills and career objectives, there are many great advantages associated with meeting company representatives in person and speaking to them about career opportunities. These benefits are even more pronounced for college students or recent graduates who often do not have enough work experience to make their profiles stand out on online job boards and social media. These aspiring professionals benefit from university career center resources as well as the affiliations that their schools have fostered with prominent employers in their local communities. Here are just a few reasons why attending job fairs on college campuses are worth the effort.

Participating Companies Are Likely to Hire

Many job seekers make the mistake of forwarding their resumes to every company for which they have contact information. This is generally not the case with recruiting departments of major corporations. The recruiting professionals for these companies do their homework and decide which schools are likely to graduate students who have the skills for which their hiring managers are looking. They do not waste time presenting their materials to groups that they believe are unqualified or over qualified for the positions that they need to fill. Subsequently, students who have prepared themselves with summaries of their career goals and academic accomplishments as well as intelligent questions about advertised positions are highly likely to land gainful employment or at least a second interview.

Opportunity to Network

The reason that many career development experts advise students to wear business attire, carry numerous copies of their resumes and take business cards when they attend on-campus career fairs is because these events represent prime networking opportunities. The main objective of college career fairs is undoubtedly to get face time with company recruiting representatives who just may be hiring managers. However, there is a social aspect of career fairs that is often forgotten by nervous attendees who are busy trying to remember their elevator speeches about their job objectives right before meeting company representatives. Many of today’s employers are looking for people who not only have the desired technical skills for advertised positions, but they have interpersonal skills as well. They want to hire people who will fit within their company’s culture and work well within their established project teams. A student who can relax a little, show their personality and their technical skills allows recruiters to assess all of their positive attributes.

Feedback Given Freely

Campus career fairs and recruiting events are often facilitated by campus career guidance faculty and staff. Depending on the size of the event, students can sometimes ask one of these staff members to listen in on their interviews so that they can obtain valuable feedback. Also, company representatives understand that they are recruiting inexperienced but bright young people. They often give feedback to attendees who did not present themselves as well as they could have during initial interviews.

Conclusion

College students and recent graduates get a great deal of career guidance and support from many universities. Their level of career success reflects to some extent on the quality of the education that they received during their university years, and most schools are eager for their graduates to make their marks within industry. A university student or recent graduate who properly prepares themselves for a job fair has taken the first step to showcase their talents for leading industry employers.