By Nathanael Hawthorne
Youngstown State University opens many doors for its students. There are countless opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. One such opportunity is the career fair.
The adult world is magnificent and terrifying for students who have been in school for 16 or more years. The most difficult part of becoming an adult is landing a career, and YSU has prepared students for this time by way of the classes taken as an undergraduate or graduate student.
But what happens after commencement? Thankfully, the career fair opens doors for many students.
The career fair this semester had roughly 100 different employers all seeking students from all types of majors. While many of them were not specifically looking for full-time positions, almost all of them were looking for interns.
Each employer had a different and specific thing they were looking for in potential candidates for interns.
“Sweeney was looking for students who showed enthusiasm and passion for what they were studying, reasoning as to why they want to join the team and a prepared resume,” Kaitlyn Leonelli, a Human Resources Generalist for Sweeney Cars said.
The most important thing a student can have when attending a career fair is a resume according to Justin Edwards, director of Career and Academic Advising at YSU.
“Be sure to have a professional resume ready, with an elevator pitch, and knowledge about the companies you are interested in working for,” Edwards said in regards to the steps students can take in getting a job offer. “Dress professional; first impressions are hard to overcome.”
Employers also look at the knowledge a student has about the company.
“I am really impressed when students do their homework before an event,” Leonelli said. “For example, when a student tells me what they like about our organization and why they want to join the team.”
Edwards said employers tend to be the most interested in candidates who have done their “due diligence” on the company and are prepared for a conversation at the career fair
“Employers want candidates who know their audience and can engage,” Edwards said.
Another tool that students can utilize in the hunt for a job is Handshake via the Penguin Portal on the YSU website.
“Handshake is a resource for employers to post job opportunities to build a profile, so students can make those connections and have a professional social network that’s directly related to YSU,” Edwards said. “There is a level of equitability that online environments provide.”
The career fair happens every semester. Each semester, many students attend and check out the prospects for their future.
For more information regarding success at a career fair or trying to get a job offer, visit www.naceweb.org or be sure to utilize campus resources.