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Career fair urges students to prepare

October 14, 2011

Students at UW-River Falls are encouraged to do their homework before attending the career fair this year.

“Preparation is very important,” said Whitney Peissig, a career fair coordinator. “First impressions leave a lasting memory.”

There are a couple of different events students can go to help prepare them. One is the career fair prep session which will be from 2 p.m.to 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17, in the Falcon’s Nest at the University Center. There will be help stations available to help with things such as resume critiques, dressing for success, and researching attending employers.

There are also career fair help tables from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17, or Tuesday, Oct. 18, in Heritage Hall at the UC.

According to Career Service’s website, some general tips for maximizing success at the fair are to research the company, have a good idea of the industry and position that you are seeking, update your resume, dress professionally, and discuss how and when to follow up.

This year’s career fair will also follow the same dress code as last year, so students need to come dressed accordingly.

“In 2009 over half our employers were appalled by student’s appearances and threatened not to return,” said McKenna Pfeiffer, career counselor at the University. “We just could not lose that many employers.”

Students are encouraged to wear neckties, khakis, dress pants, and a sweater or cardigan. Students will be turned away if they are not dressed in proper attire.

“We received very good feedback from employers that attended the career fair in 2010 after enforcing a dress code,” said Peissig. “They said that our students looked very professional and that the caliber of applicants had increased dramatically from 2009.”

The career fair can be beneficial for everyone, regardless of what stage in the job search process they may be. It gives students a chance to interact, ask questions, find information about possible internship or job opportunities and learn about graduate school programs.

“I was not looking for an internship or full time employment when I went to the career fair last year,” said Rebecca Lippert, a student at the University. “However, it was still a great opportunity for me to network with companies I may be interested in working for in the future. Having students that were currently enrolled in a graduate program I was interested in also gave me a peek into what that path might be like.”

In 2010, more than 800 students and alumni attended the career fair. The hope is that there will be just as many in 2011. Some of the employers coming to the fair are Wal-Mart, American Family Insurance, Target, and many more.

“We have reached maximum capacity for the career fair this year with 86 total organizations representing a variety of industries” said Peissig. This is six more than last year. The hope is that this sparks student interest and that it will increase career fair attendance to 850 or more.

The fair is being held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, in the Riverview Ballroom at the UC. Additional information about the career fair and its attending organizations can be found at www.uwrf.edu/CareerFair.