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Fall job fair gives graduating students hope for finding employment

Published: Thursday, November 3, 2011

Updated: Friday, November 4, 2011 00:11

Rochelle Ball

Rochelle Ball

Matthew Spencer, a UNC 2008 alumnus with a degree in German international studies, talks with a 1st Bank representative Wednesday at the Fall Job Fair in the UC.

About 300 UNC students visited with more than 60 local and national businesses about career opportunities following graduation during Career Services' annual Fall Job Fair Wednesday.

Organizations such as the Weld County Sheriff's Office and the Frontier House gave students a perspective of the local job market while Kraft Foods, Mutual of Omaha and Charles Schwab & Company were in attendance representing the broader job market.

Changes to the format this year included holding the event later in the day in an effort to attract more students.

A variety of career paths were represented at the fair, including education, criminal justice, business, accounting, marketing and public affairs.

Representatives from various graduate school programs, including the University of Northern Colorado, Colorado State University, University of Colorado at Denver, University of Wyoming and Drake University also attended to talk to students about furthering their higher education.

For many students, the job fair was a source of hope considering the current, unfavorable condition of the job market.

"I think the fair was very helpful," said Curtis Truett, a senior criminal justice major. "It opens doors and shows there (are) actually people hiring."

For a company like Country Financial, which has taken advantage of job fairs for more than a decade, the UNC job fair is an opportunity to identify quality candidates and do some aggressive recruiting.

"I know a lot of people who have graduated and had trouble finding any job opportunities," said Jordan Bible, a senior criminal justice major.

Bible said he was skeptical about the job prospects awaiting him after graduation, but the job fair helped reassure him.

"The job fair showcased a lot of different opportunities, even for someone in between school and starting a career," Bible said.

With the growing prominence of social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, job fairs have become less popular among job seekers, but the significance of in-person networking should not be undermined, said Peg Griffin, the fairs coordinator for UNC's Career Services.

"Job fairs are all about networking," Griffin said. "You have to network face-to-face. You can learn a lot about a job candidate in a setting like this. The more (an employer) knows you, the better."

Erin Sinott, of Denver Teaching Fellows, said the organization traditionally relied on word of mouth and various forms of social networking to raise awareness and recruit.

However, her recent experiences have shown that job fairs are a reliable source for attracting prospective job candidates.

The university will host a spring job fair Feb. 23 for those looking to get ahead in the job market before May graduation.


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