BY ALISON SMITH
Over the next two days, the FargoDome will be filled with 296 local, regional and national employers looking for the next best job candidates. NDSU has once again invited MSUM students to its annual Career Expo held today and Wednesday.
Students will have the chance to network with employers in multiple fields with the potential of receiving an internship or even a full-time position.
Today is geared toward business and liberal arts majors while Wednesday will be for technology and science majors (physics, computer science, chemistry, biology) and also construction and operations management.
With so many employers attending the expo, students may feel overwhelmed with the variety. NDSU created an online list and search tool so students can filter employers by major, degree level or career type (full-time, internship or temporary) and see who will be attending day one or day two.
The employer list is also linked to the company website, so students can do their research ahead of time. Sarah Miller, director of the Career Development Center, strongly encourages research so students are better able to show their interest in the company. “One of the number one things students tell me after a career fair is, ‘I wish I would have researched more before I came.’”
Miller said networking is one of the most important things a student can do to get a job. “Employers are much more likely to select a candidate for interview that they’ve personally met,” she said,
“That’s why career fairs are such a great opportunity for students.”
The NDSU Career Expo will offer opportunities for not only seniors, but underclassmen as well. Miller said companies are now looking for students who have had two or three internships.
Because of this, students who are in their sophomore or junior year are encouraged to attend.
Miller also said that employers might use the career fair as a recruiting mechanism. Miller said of some of the employers: “They’re hosting internships as a way to attract good talent and to have a more long-term trial period to see if the student or employee is a right fit for their company.”
The Career Development Center is busy with career fairs this semester. Miller and 14 MSUM students just returned from Minnesota State University’s Job and Internship Fair in Minneapolis.
She also said that MSUM is planning its own career fair on March 26 in the CMU. Because it falls right after spring break, there will be last minute coaching sessions the day of the fair as well as a session after the fair where students will be able to develop a plan for following up with employers. Right now 36 employers are signed up to attend with hopes of at least 50, Miller said.
For more information about the NDSU Career Expo or other upcoming career events, go to mnstate.edu/career and click on the “Learn about upcoming workshops and fairs” link on the right-hand side of the page.
Tips to survive a job fair
1. Research: Show interest in the company by knowing what the company stands for and any available positions
2. Polish resume: Stop in the Career Development Center for a resume review any time Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
3. Develop plan: Know who to talk to and what to say
4. Plan an introduction: Practice a 30-second elevator speech
5. Dress professionally: Miller suggests a suit for both men and women; if that’s not an option be sure to wear dress pants, dress shirts and dress shoes
6. Approach with confidence: Confidence in yourself will portray confidence to employers as well
7. Ask for business card: Be sure to get contact information in order to follow up properly
8. Follow up: Send a “Thank You” email to the representative stating gratitude and interest in the open position, and be sure to include a copy of your resume