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What really happens at an educator job fair?

EJF RoomI just posted last month about how to prepare for a job interview, but what about preparing for a job fair and, realistically, what kind of results are possible?

There is no better way to answer these questions than to talk about what just happened on March 4th at the 2014 NLU Educator Job Fair hosted at NLU’s Lisle Campus. Held from 1pm-4pm with potential post-fair interviews taking place between 4:30pm-6:30pm, both the employer and student respondents to the post-fair satisfaction survey agree that the 2014 Educator Job Fair was a wild success.

Candidate Prep RoomJob seekers began arriving to the fair at 12:30pm at which time they signed in and then came to the Candidate Preparation Room to create their nametags and get centered before show time. I had the honor of welcoming candidates in this room, getting them set up for success, and answering any last minute questions they might have had. With every new candidate who walked through the door, I was consistently impressed with demeanors, attires, and overall professionalism that I observed in each person—way to go NLU students and alumni!

EJFVolunteers EJF-Faculty

Once the fair started, we had a number of volunteers in blue NLU t-shirts who walked from room to room engaging employers, speaking with candidates, and offering a sense calm to what can be a very stressful day for job seekers. Even NCE faculty came to meet employers and support their students and alumni—duly noted by employers as a class act to have faculty in attendance! Employers raved about the quality of the candidates in their survey responses—both the resumes and the quality of conversations were rated very well—again, way to go NLU students and alumni!

Student-Employer Handshake Civitas-Candidate Conversation EJF Fun Engaged Employers

As the fair came to a close, we were so proud to find out that 15 NLU job seekers landed interviews  immediately after the fair. Some of these students were even interviewed by more than one employer! This meant that the candidates exceeded the school districts’ expectations so much so that they stayed later for a more in-depth interview. Need I say it again? Heck yes! Way to go NLU students and alumni!

So, can you have quality interactions at a job fair? Yes, yes you can.

Here is a snapshot of what survey respondents to the post-fair survey had to say:

Candidates:

  •  90.7% of jobseekers stated that they researched employers before the fair.
  • 57.4% prepared questions to ask employers.
  • 40.7% received a resume review from the Career Development Office.
  • 68.5% interacted with 5-10 employers while 12.9% interacted with 11-20.

Employers:

  • Employers all answered “Very Satisfied” or “Satisfied” with the quality of their interactions with NLU students and alumni.
  • Employers, overall, were “Satisfied” with the job seeker’s communication skills, resume quality, overall preparation, and attire.
  • Employers went out of their way to positively comment on the professionalism and caliber of candidates.

One of the best parts about my job is having the opportunity to observe the progression of a timid job seeker meeting with me for the first time walk into a situation like this with a confident smile and fully prepared to have a stellar conversation with an employer. I am overjoyed by the successes job seekers found at the 2014 Educator Job Fair and I look forward to the Spring Career Expo—open to ALL majors—happening at the Chicago Campus on April 29th! 

Helen Roy

About Helen Roy

Helen is the Career Readiness Advisor at NLU. You can also find her @HelenLRoy on Twitter and https://www.facebook.com/helenlroy.med. Helen posts about the ups, downs, and everything in between of planning and managing your career.