Taking Advantage of Job Fairs at Your Community College

by A Guest Author

Career Fair at Community CollegeThere's no denying that this is a tough time to be looking for jobs, especially with no experience to speak of.

Students coming out of college these days, diploma in hand, are often doing so without the advantage of job offers that may have been forthcoming even a few short years ago.

But thanks to a recession, layoffs, and stunted job creation, recent grads are finding themselves facing stiff competition in the job market.

And although they have some advantages on their side (knowledge of the latest technology and industry advances, at least in theory, as well as a willingness to start at a lower salary), they certainly can't offer the experience that many of their competitors boasts.

Now, you may be hesitant to start scouring the job market at the community college level; after all, you might be aiming to transfer from community college to Ivy League and if you were lucky enough to land a job it could put your college aspirations on the back burner.

But there's a lot you can gain by going to job fairs now.

Here are just a few advantages to consider...

1. See what's out there.

The main reason to attend job fairs is to see which companies are offering work these days and what types of positions they want college students to fill.

Many community college students are trying to decide if they want to hit the job market equipped with an associate's degree or go on to a college or university where they can get a bachelor's degree.

Or you might be trying to decide on a major.

Going to a job fair can give you a taste of what you have to look forward to in the working world. If you can't find a lot that you're qualified for, then going on to a 4-year school could be the best option.

And knowing what types of jobs are on the rise (or at least holding steady) might help you to settle on a major course of study.

2. Hone interpersonal skills.

When you look at a job fair not only as a way to nab a paying gig, but as a meet-and-greet situation, you will gain valuable experience when it comes to interacting with potential employers.

Perhaps you've never been in an interview situation before and you're not quite sure what to expect.

This will give you the opportunity to watch other students interacting with interviewers so that you can get an idea of how you're expected to behave (or alternately, what to avoid).

And you can try your hand at approaching hiring agents so as to practice.

This may not net you a job, but it could help you to hone your people skills and gain the confidence needed to nail job interviews in the future.

3. Network.

A company that isn't necessarily interested in hiring you now might sing a different tune once you're out of school.

Job fairs provide an excellent atmosphere in which to network, so take it upon yourself to at least shake hands and spend a few moments speaking with representatives of companies you're interested in.

Even if you're not looking for a job just yet, or they're not looking for you, the situation could change.

By making a good impression and then staying in contact with the people you meet at a job fair, you could have a much better chance of getting hired at a later date.

4. Get feedback.

Although job fairs are generally quite busy, you might ask any representatives you speak to if they can give you a few pointers regarding your performance.

Many will more than likely be happy to help you out with advice regarding the state of your résumé, as well as how they perceive you right off the bat (based on your attire and the way you interact).

This type of candid assessment is invaluable when it comes to doing your best in an interview setting.

5. Get a job.

The real reason that most students go to job fairs is to find jobs.

Although there are many other advantages to be gained, the truth is that these events are designed to help students that are seeking work.

And whether your education will end with community college, you're planning to transfer to a 4-year school, or you'd like to get an online MBA finance degree, hitting up job fairs could help you to get work now or in the future.

This post was written by A Guest Author

This post was written by a guest author. If you have high quality, useful information to share with students, send us an email or click Write For Us to learn more. And in case you're wondering - yes, you can promote yourself in this fancy author byline.

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