The fall Career Fair is here. Get ready.

by Kristin Leonato

The fall Career Fair is here. Get ready.

The entire University Career Services staff is preparing for their fall signature event, the Career Fair. Over 200 employers will be on campus during the week of the fair and will be actively recruiting students at every level and in every course of study. 

Vita Vock, associate dean for undergraduate academic affairs in the college is “always impressed by the diverse group of employers that come to Mason seeking our students for open positions. The number of exciting opportunities available to our students really says something about the reputation of Mason students with the companies and agencies that come to the career fair.”

Mason students are in demand with these local, regional and national employers, so the opportunities are real and it’s best to come very prepared. Raechel Timbers, associate director for student professional development, explains that representatives at the fair may “talk to hundreds of students while they are here, so you have to be prepared to introduce yourself in an impactful way, in person and on paper.”

Not sure where to start? Whether students are looking for a full-time job, an internship or to brush up on networking skills, University Career Services (UCS) provides a range of resources and popular workshops in advance of the Career Fair. The week begins with walk-in resumé clinics in SUB I, room 3400 throughout the day on Monday, October 3 and in the afternoon and early evening on Tuesday, October 4. No registration is required. Also, UCS’s most popular workshop of the week, “Prepare for the Fair," will be held on Monday evening from 5:00 to 6:00 pm in SUB I, room 3400.

Can’t make it in on Monday or Tuesday? The University Career Services web site has excellent resources for creating and fine tuning a resumé, crafting a perfect pitch, what to wear, how to research employers in advance, and tips on filtering the long list of organizations participating in the fair to find those opportunities best suited to your skills and interests. 

Students in professional dress

Timbers also recommends students come “prepared to talk about the value you can bring to a specific position or organization, in general.” She explains that many students “spend a lot of time thinking about if they want to work for a certain company and don’t spend enough time thinking about how to market their value to the company. You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.”

Not sure what to talk about? University Career Services can help you with this too. UCS has put together a list of the top seven competencies all employers are seeking based on their experience and a national surveys of recruiters and hiring managers. Timbers says this list is “a great place to start. Pick one of those seven competencies that fits you best and organize your pitch around that idea.”

The two-day Career Fair is organized by the types of positions companies and agencies are seeking with representatives hiring for science, technology, engineering and math focused positions on Wednesday and business, public service and non-tech focused positions on Thursday. Students from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences are encouraged to attend either or both days as our students develop a wide range of transferable skills during their studies that are applicable to a wide range of positions and industries.

So update that resume, do your research, practice your pitch, iron your best outfit and we’ll see you there!