April 14 is the UW’s largest career fair, and planners expect a big turnout from students and alumni (UW employees are welcome as well) largely because of the current state of the economy and job market. Last year’s fair was attended by between 4,000 and 4,500, which is the fair’s largest turnout to date.
“This year, the most challenging part of planning the fair has been securing employers and identifying employers who are actually hiring,” said Emma O’Neill, the Career Center’s events coordinator.
The number of participating companies is up from last year. Recruiters from 100 employers attended last year, whereas 120 have signed up so far in 2010.
“More are looking to hire this year. There are many intern and part-time positions, and even a surprising number of full-time positions that employers are looking to fill,” she said.
O’Neill said that prior to the recession, the fair had about 145 employers.
“Those numbers dropped last year, but with the economy slowly recovering, the number of employers is also rising. Even if the company isn’t hiring this year, they think that they will soon, so they want to maintain a presence on campus. I think that’s a testament to the quality of student or candidate that the UW produces—employers want to hire them.”
Employers sending recruiters this year include: AT&T, Central Intelligence Agency, King County Library System, Liberty Mutual, Macy’s, Peace Corps, and Target Stores.
O’Neill said that the Career Center wants to do everything it can to make sure that students and alumni make good impressions and interact well with the employers. The center is hosting a few resume and cover letter workshops before the big day and on Friday, April 9, they are putting on a workshop focusing on how to be successful at the fair. The complete workshop schedule with dates, times and locations is available here.
Online workshops are also available for participants who can’t make it into the center. Click here to find the online workshops.
O’Neill said that one of the most important things that attendees should be doing right now is looking over their resume. Have friends and family read over your copy, she said. Walk-ins interested in working on their resume are also welcome in the Career Center (Mary Gates Hall 134) Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. — 3 p.m.
“Fifteen minutes with a career counselor, perfecting your resume is all it takes,” O’Neill said. She also recommends bringing more copies of your resume to the fair than you expect to give out.
Another way to stand out is to dress professionally.
“Think of it as getting ready for an interview. Students and alumni will be meeting a lot of employers, so it’s important to look the part and make a good first impression,” said O’Neill.
She also recommends spending some time working on a short speech that highlights and captures you—an “elevator speech.” It’s also important to look over the complete list of employers and do some research on the ones that interest you. Knowledge of the company and what you have to offer that company shows that you care. Click here for the complete list of employers.
Participants also have the option of including their resume in the Employer Resume Book. Employers can purchase the book and look through it for potential candidates. Click here and follow the instructions to include your resume.
The Spring Career Fair is Wednesday, April 14 in the HUB Ballrooms. It starts at 3 p.m. and ends at 7 p.m. Students, alumni and employees are welcome.