College career fairs are a benefit to everyone involved: the recruiters, the students, and the college. What makes college career fairs so valuable? Career fairs are one of the few places where recruiters and students can meet and interact in person before a full formal interview. This is not to say that the introductions at career fairs are not important – the first meeting in any business relationship is always important – but the atmosphere creates a foundation for successful interactions. At the same time, if a student makes a mistake, it is only one of many opportunities and any damage is limited. We outline several other valuable advantages to students in 5 Benefits of Attending College Career Fairs.
Value to Students
College career fairs are designed to give students the opportunity to explore career opportunities, meet prospective employers, and practice professional behavior. A college career fair is valuable to students not only for their first ventures into the professional world but relevant for future job changes. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that workers stay at an employer for a median of 4.6 years. If this trend continues, today’s students will need the career search skills they learn in their college for the rest of their lives.
A college career fair also gives students a place where they can safely make mistakes and recover. Writing a resume, small talk with employers, and preparing for interviews are new skills for most students. Mistakes can be embarrassing but learning that you can start fresh at the next recruiting table takes away some of the sting.
The short-term outcome of preparing a resume, selling themselves to recruiters, and negotiating salaries and benefits for a solid entry-level position is undoubtedly positive. Once students are in the “real-world,” they will not have easy access to career services like they do in college, so the skills graduates learn now are ones they will use for the rest of their professional lives. The successful navigation of a career fair is a valuable life skill.
Value to Employers
As the unemployment rate drops, company recruiters are facing more recruiting challenges. College career fairs are a favorite way for businesses to identify potential employees because they are efficient and cost-effective. For example, students have viewed 17,000,000+ company profiles on the Career Fair Plus App. Employers want these digital views and contacts with students, but the opportunity to meet several students in person during a short period increases their ability to find the right students for the positions they are filling.
Value to Your Campus
Hosting college career fairs brings multiple benefits to your college campus. No matter the state of the economy, your school will continue to graduate candidates for the job force. A successful career fair brings visibility to the programs offered at your campus and starts a snowball effect. More visibility brings even more recruiters.
The Federal College Scorecard directly considers the employment rate of your graduates in school rankings. US News and World Report Rankings take a less direct approach by looking at the percentage of your alumni who give back through financial support. Better students apply for admission or transfer, and the benefits continue to accumulate. See your article on How Hosting a Career Fair Helps Your School for more information.
A Win for Everyone
College career fairs have immediate value and years of potential value. A college career fair gives students a positive start in their career search as well as valuable skills for future career searches. Employers find the students they need to fill entry-level positions. And your campus benefits from increased visibility, high employment rates, and better rankings.