3 Career Fair myths that just aren’t true

The Career Fair is coming up next week! It will be in the Kansas Union on Wednesday, Feb. 13 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.  Not sure what to expect? Don’t think this event is for you? We’ve talked with real employers and busted some of the most popular student myths and concerns about attending the Career Fair.

The companies attending aren’t looking for my major.

Employers are often looking for students with specific skills, not specific majors. Some companies will list a few majors that might be a great fit for the position, but that list isn’t always all-encompassing. There are more than 100 major and minor options within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences alone, not to mention the options across the whole university – so don’t sweat it if your major isn’t listed verbatim. Learn how to talk about the knowledge base you’ve developed through your major and the skillset you can offer in that position. Here’s a list of the top six liberal arts skills to get you started.

“I graduated from a liberal arts college, so I completely understand the value of a diverse, well-rounded education in the workforce,” said Jessie Poole, assistant account manager and internship coordinator at Crossroads. “I love talking with students that can speak about economics, politics and then dive into their love for writing or speaking. I’m less interested in what your degree will say, and more interested in why you want to intern at Crossroads and why you’d be a great fit for our team.”

Cristina Wall is a Talent Acquisition Specialist at Enterprise Holdings. As an alumna of a liberal arts college, Cristina said she understands the value of a broad education and that in the hiring process, skills are more important than a specific major. Skills she looks for include: “customer service, sales, flexibility, great work ethic, communication, and leadership.”

I can only talk to recruiters about the specific positions listed.

Employers sometimes choose to list opportunities available prior to the fair; however that doesn’t mean they aren’t willing to discuss the company in general or keep your resume on hand for future postings. If you’re interested in a company attending the fair, you should meet with them, even if they don’t have your dream job available right now. Talking with the representative will give you the chance to ask questions you can’t necessarily find out through online research, plus they might have insight on potential internships or when opportunities might open up.

“LRS attends career fairs to find students for our entry level positions.  We like to start building relationships with students early so that we become a destination on their career fair experience,” said  Kaci Huelsmann with Levi, Ray & Shoup, Inc. “I’m the campus recruiter and deal with all things related.  I give out my business cards as well as fliers that have my information on it, including my cell phone number.  If someone thinks of a question after the fact, I’m more than happy to answer it for them and help them in any way!”

Giving out my resume is too pushy.

It’s not. Employers want to meet you; it’s why they’ve taken time away from their desks to attend the fair. Some of them will even keep resumes on hand for future opportunities. Providing your resume up front can help guide your conversation with an employer and give them the chance to ask any questions they may have about your experience.

“It’s amazing to me how often I visit a fair, ask for a resume and the student doesn’t have one ready to go. I think it’s great for students to ask questions to get a feel for the company first, but every interaction at a fair is an opportunity to get your name out there,” said Jessie Poole from Crossroads. “If you don’t have a resume to make an impression, how am I supposed to take notes, remember our conversation or reach out if an opportunity pops up? Always carry copies of your resume and don’t be afraid to ask questions or follow up with an email if you are really interested in an opportunity.”