Career Fair aims to help students in a difficult job market
February 20, 2013
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Students turned out in near-record numbers for this year’s Career Fair. With over 120 employers showing up, they had many opportunities to explore potential jobs and make connections with members of the business world. According to the Career Development Center, “The Springfield Collegiate Career Fair is an annual event hosted by the career development offices of the University of Illinois Springfield, Benedictine University at Springfield, Robert Morris University and Lincoln Land Community College.” They go on to argue that, “Whether you are a new freshman, graduating senior, graduate student, alumna, or community member, career fairs are precious experiences that increase your chances of a successful career.” Every year students from all four colleges converge to hear about potential job opportunities, meet possible employers, and receive free stuff. Many companies frequently bring small items or sample merchandise when participating in career fairs. These items can be anything from the more common Frisbees, pens and hats to some downright bizarre things. “I always make sure to go to the Career Fairs, even when I am not looking for a job,” explained student Jamie Thompson. “The free stuff they give out can be really handy. I once even got a pizza cutter.” Companies intend that these things serve as advertising, so most seem to take these collectors in stride. Despite the few students whose interest in the fair lies in the freebies they can pick up, a large number of participants remain focused on looking for jobs. The fair remains and excellent opportunity to meet potential employers face to face. In the current job market, potential employees need all the help they can get. Experts on the subject are predicting increasingly worse conditions for job-seekers in the coming years. Darnell Clarke, Fortune 100 hiring manager and the author of “Employmentology: A Practical Systematic Methodology of Finding Employment,” feels that unemployment will become a greater issue in the near future. As he describes it, “Competition for available jobs will remain fierce for years to come as hiring managers across all industries are inundated with more qualified candidates than they need to fill open positions.” Recent graduates are already beginning to feel the problem. “It’s tough out here nowadays,” explains alumnus Erick Turpin of employment prospects after college. “Employers can afford to be discerning, so only the best applicants have anything resembling a chance.” However, the future isn’t hopeless. A well prepared and equipped applicant can still succeed in beating out the competition. According to Clarke, “the person who gets the job isn’t the most qualified for the job but rather the most qualified at getting the job.” He argues that it has become important for students and job seekers to approach potential employment systematically and practically. With the right methods it’s possible for even the most average of applicants to have a fighting chance. Still it pays to take advantage of every opportunity lest you end up in the unenviable position of being a college graduate working a minimum wage job to make ends meet. It becomes even more problematic when student loans are thrown into the mix.