First, a plug: The Fifth Annual Pickens Technical College Career Fair will be held April 25, 2018, from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. on campus, in Buildings A, B, E, the Student Resource Center, and the Student Commons. Employers from around the state will be there to answer questions and make connections with potential new hires (you). Among those employers are Bright Horizons Family Solutions, The Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, Floyd’s 99 Barbershop, Shea Properties, and more. If you’re attending PTC, you should be looking beyond the graduation date at what your future employment could look like. Going to this career fair is a great way to do that. Here’s why:
Not everyone likes to do this, but in order to make it in a particular field, especially as a newcomer with little to no experience, networking with employers and other workers is crucial. You have a much better chance of being hired if the employer knows you and likes you and can match your face and first impression with your resume. Employers want to work with people they know and get along well with. Job fairs are great opportunities to show you can get along with them and to get to know them.
Getting face time with potential local employers is critical, but so is meeting and getting to know other job-seekers. These individuals might know people hiring in your field and could help point you in the right direction.
It sounds silly, but the more you practice being interviewed and introducing yourself to potential employers, the better you’ll be at it. Get used to squeezing palms, smiling, standing up straight, looking people in the eye, and dressing the part. A job fair can be like an interview trial run, where you can see which networkers are getting the most attention from employers. Catch a glance at a few of the resumes being passed around and try to steal a few formatting ideas for your own. Many of the same techniques you’ll use at a job fair to catch recruiters’ eyes you’ll use later in interviews.
Some employers might interview applicants on the spot at job fairs, so it’s a good idea to come prepared with answers to a few baseline interview questions you know you’ll be asked, such as “what are your biggest weaknesses?” “What are your biggest strengths?” etc. Even if you’re not interviewed right then and there, you’ll at least be prepared to handle a few basic questions about yourself if asked.
A Free Resource
You might not know it yet, but truly free job-seeking resources are dwindling. There are career websites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and LinkedIn, but those won’t get you the same face-to-face exposure to employers actively looking for recruits in your community as a career fair. Some recruiting companies are starting to charge job-seekers, rather than employers, for their services. A free resource like a career fair, which can teach you all the lessons you’ll need to find a job and put you in a room with recruiters and other job-seekers is invaluable to your job search after graduation.
Visit the Career Services Desk at PTC to learn more about the upcoming Career Fair at PTC!