Getting prepared ahead of time is the best way to succeed at a job fair, said Student Employment and Career Services Director Debra Vaughn. The Student Employment’s bi-annual job fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for general employers, and noon to 6 p.m. for health professions on Oct. 3 in the College Union.
Vaughn said the job fair usually draws a wide mix of employers and job hunters, so preparing beforehand is critical to get the most out of the fair.
“Our department is open on the day of the fair, and we will be happy to help students who come on that day. But there’s over a hundred employers at the job fair. Every minute you’re in our offices getting ready the day of the fair is potentially a lost opportunity.”
She said her offices start to get busy as much as three weeks to a month ahead of time as students come in seeking help with everything from resumès to proper job fair attire.
“We offer a lot of help to students,” Vaughn said. “Students can print up to 10 copies of their resumè a day, or 20 copies in a week, and 30 copies in a month. We have a handbook with tips and guidelines for successful job hunting.”
Another useful tool Student Employment can offer a student, she said, is a portfolio book that can be used to hold cover letters, applications, business cards and writing utensils. Vaughn said her office gives the portfolios away to students who upload their resumès to the department’s job board.
“We want our students to be as successful as possible, and try to offer as much help as we can to get them there.”
And according to the feedback she’s been getting, Vaughn said, employers who attend the job fair appreciate prospective employees who take the time to get ready.
“Employers love it when you research their companies so you know what they do, what they’re about, and what questions to ask,” she said.
Vaughn said she’s always pleased to see students coming in early to stock up on resumès, and get help with their wardrobe or interviewing skills a few weeks before the fair.
“I have employers who participate in these fairs call me or send me email saying they recognize which job hunters are our students, because of how well prepared they are.”
Vaughn said she sees positive results from the fairs every year.
“Last year, we recorded $4.5 million in salaries hired from the two job fairs combined. And that was just from the employers who would answer the survey.”
For more information about the job fair, go to www.occc.edu/es or visit the office of Student Employment in the Main Building.
To contact Jeremy Cloud, email firstname.lastname@example.org.