Spotlight for Career Services ProfessionalsSeptember 18, 2013
NACE recently posted an inquiry on its JobPlace listserv seeking
best practices career centers use to ensure their career fairs meet
the needs and/or exceed the expectations of their students and
employers. Following are some of the best practices your colleagues
shared for Part 1 of this series:
"Two years ago, we created a targeted networking event—Career
Connect—that has reaped huge rewards for our students and high
praise from invited employers," Cone says.
Buena Vista's Career Connect will be held over two days in March
2014. The first day will focus on business, exercise science, and
communication majors, while the second session will be for students
seeking careers in the technology, education, and nonprofit
Employers are separated by industry and speak briefly about
their organizations, opportunities, and application processes.
Then, they take questions from the students. After approximately 45
minutes, all attendees convene to a reception area where the
employers can network with the students in attendance from all
"This is short, sweet, and targeted for our both our students
and our employers," Cone notes.
"Of course, students network for internships or employment
without the stress of a formal interview," explains Donna Crow,
executive director of the university's office of career services
and student success. "This relationship building has led many
students to receive an offer of employment or an interview the day
of or soon after the career fair. It also gives the student an
advocate inside the organization."
The office of career services and student success holds a
continental breakfast for employers and hosts, and provides a
special name badge for the student hosts.
"This helps the hosts make a great first impression on the other
employers they approach that day," Crow notes. "This program has
become well known on campus, and students often ask us when the
student host sign-ups are going live."
"There are coat racks, mirrors, mints, hand sanitizer, water,
and other resources available to students," explains Cindy Verduce,
Indiana Tech's director of learning support services and career
planning and development. "Society members, staff, and
faculty also are available to calm jittery nerves or to help tie
ties. If students don't have them, free ties are also
Verduce notes that students can come and go during the fair, so
if they need a break, they have a place to go.
"It has been a big hit here at Indiana Tech," she says.
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