Help wanted: latest career fair attracts many students, employers

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Arianna Wage

The Career Center recently hosted a career fair for students to meet perspective employers. The fair featured over 100 employers, which is the highest employer attendance in eight years.

Sarah Groft, Staff Reporter

On Thursday, Feb. 16, the Career Center held its annual February career fair, which featured over 100 organizations a record number in recent years, according to Career Center director Michael Thomas.

Companies such as Google, Metrics Marketing Group, Ferro Corporation, Osborn International, Skylight Financial Group, Thermalin Diabetes, LLC, and Avtron Aerospace made their first appearance at this year’s fair along with many other returning companies.

Thomas remarked, “Recruiters were highly satisfied with the quantity of students [over 700] and alumni in attendance and, more importantly, the quality of the candidates in attendance. Many recruiters commented on how well-prepared CWRU students and alumni were.”

Many students are concerned that the current economic situation will affect their ability to be hired directly out of college. Thomas put some of those fears to rest: “For the past year, we’ve seen incremental improvement in the economy, particularly for those students seeking internships, entry-level hires, and recent graduates with three to five years of experience.”

“These opportunities are coming from industries such as healthcare, management consulting, manufacturing, financial services, and [information technology],” Thomas added. “Experiential learning (e.g., internships, practicum, co-op) is increasingly the pathway to meaningful career-related full-time positions. Nothing beats the one-two punch of a CWRU degree and a quality internship.”

“The variety of organizations was fantastic. I felt like there were a lot of opportunities to take advantage of. I’m really glad I went and I felt that it was a very good learning experience,” said Jeffrey Oleski, a second-year undergraduate who attended the fair.

Michael Knobloch, another second-year attendee, expressed similar feelings. “There were a lot of options; however, I felt as though the organizations were focused on engineering, specifically computer science.”

The Career Center offers other services such as individual career counseling; mock interviews; on-campus interviews; CWRU Link, the Career Center’s online career management system that includes a job-posting service; job search strategy resources; the Practicum program; and online job search resources such as Career Shift, Going Global, Career Insider, and Current Jobs for Graduates.

The Career Center can also help prepare students for future career fairs or interviews where a resume is required. Students can bring their resumes to the Career Center, located in the Sears building, which has walk-in office hours Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“The resume is becoming an increasingly important screening tool,” Thomas noted. “Students and alumni should identify the two to three most relevant features of their resume and develop these features in a way that allows the reader to understand the prospective fit between candidate qualifications and the available position.”

Additionally, students should describe the characteristics that distinguish them among other applicants. “Be thoughtful, on paper and in person, about what makes you unique,” Thomas explained. “Recruiters are increasingly looking for impact: how did your presence in the classroom, your leadership of a student organization, or membership on a team project at your internship make a difference.”