Job and internship opportunities are available for students looking to find employment following graduation, and employers say they welcome the opportunity to offer these positions to the most qualified applicants.
But according to Tanya Baird, the internship coordinator at Colorado State University-Pueblo, getting hired is only part of any job search. First, she said, an applicant must get an employer to notice them – a sometimes impossible feat. That’s because, she said, in today’s highly competitive job market employers want more than a college degree; they want someone who somehow stands out from the competition and shouts, “I’m the one for the job!”
“You must ask yourself, ‘What marketable traits do I have that will place me ahead of my competition?’,” Baird said.
Students will have an opportunity to explore their options at the third annual Internship and Job Fair scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 22 at the Colorado State University-Pueblo Career Center. Approximately 40 employers from local, regional and national companies will discuss career options and opportunities for all majors and academic levels, and accept resumes for employment and internship consideration.
Baird said the best thing about the event is that employers and students meet face-to-face in a casual setting. Students can learn about hiring trends, skills employers look for in applicants and what to expect from the interview process, she said. Employers are making selections for summer internships now, she said.
Baird recomends, prior to meeting with prospective employers, students should make a list of their top accomplishments they want to share with an employer, andthink about the behaviors and skills demonstrated by those accomplishments. Students also should make a list of the key skills they possess; for each skill jot down any recent situations in which demonstrate that skill, she said.
Baird said women should wear a business suit or tailored dress, and men should wear a business suit. She said both men and women should wear polished shoes and conservative jewelry; limit their perfume and cologne; clean and trim their fingernails. Students should bring several copies of resume, notepad, pen and, if applicable, a professional portfolio, she said. Students should be able to introduce themselves to an employer in a minute or less, she said, and briefly discuss their major with the employer.
Baird said that despite the fact students know what is expected of them, many will come to the job fair unprepared.
“Students could miss an opportunity for an actual interview if they fail to prepare accordingly.
This event is a great way to show employers why you are the best applicant for the job,” Baird said.