Spotlight for Career Services ProfessionalsOctober 2, 2013
What can you do to help ensure the success of your career fairs?
Your colleagues share some of their best practices:
"Lebanon Valley College is involved in the planning and
implementation of several consortium career fairs that take place
off campus," explains Gwen Miller, associate director of the office
of career services. "The discipline-specific days are in addition
to those and are an answer to limited space, demand, or interest
from students and employers, and support from faculty."
Each discipline-specific day is done in close collaboration with
faculty members so they can help career services promote the events
in their classes, support event prep sessions, provide career
services with new contacts for invitations, and more.
"We discuss [with faculty] the need for the event, combine our
lists of employers and contacts, and then have their input on the
invitations and approximate time of year for the event," Miller
notes. "It's much more effective for our office to run with it when
we know that there is already buy-in. We also want them to come.
Our faculty members enjoy attending the event to welcome employers
and encourage students who have last-minute jitters.That's so
helpful to us, and meaningful to employers and students."
Career services also contacts student groups for support in
promoting and helping the day of the events.
"We try to have students involved in making each event a success
by asking for volunteers to help greet employers, unload their
materials, and get them settled at their tables," Miller says.
"It's a great way to help students interact with employers
professionally, before the event starts."
Another key component to the success of the events is planning
them far in advance.
Says Miller: "I'm already looking at my calendar for next
year. We try to stay consistent with the time of year, time
of event, and more, and send 'save the date' notices far in advance
so that it's on everyone's calendar. It's the attention to detail
and a customer-service attitude that we take toward employers that
make these days a success."
"Most importantly, the aisle hosts were able to guide students
who needed help and connect them with the employers that best fit
their interests," explains Sheri Ispir, director of experiential
education and career services. "We identified [the aisle hosts]
with stickers, so it was low cost and a big return in terms of
The career services office also uses stickers to help employers
identify "graduating students" and "internship students," which
helps employers and students connect more easily, and holds
pre-fair tours for international students.
"We invite our international students to come 45 minutes before
the expo floor opens and a staff member escorts the group through
the aisle giving tips on how to navigate the event, as well as
answering questions about specific employers," Ispir says. "This
gives our international students more confidence and know-how on
leveraging this networking opportunity."
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