ACDC Prepares: Job fairs provide opportunity for students to network, sell themselves

Photo courtesy of UNO ACDC Students look for career opportunities at a job fair last year
Photo courtesy of UNO ACDC
Students look for career opportunities at a job fair last year

By Anita Sticht, Contributor

For 15 years, the University of Nebraska at Omaha students have impressed Streck, a company that manufactures products for clinical and research laboratories, and this has led to its continued attendance at the university’s annual job fair.
“Students at UNO have a good work ethic,” said Teresa Preister, a human resource generalist at Streck.
Another reason Streck comes to the fair: “Because students generally want to stay in the Omaha area, and we have built a relationship with the Academic and Career Development Center (ACDC),” Preister said.
Streck, along with over 70 other companies, consistently participate in the Student and Alumni Career and Internship Fair held in the Milo Bail Student Center, according to Jolene Adams, academic and career advisor at UNO.
Companies that have attended past job fairs include ConAgra Foods, Inc., Union Pacific Railroad, Kiewit, Gallup and Northrop Grumman.
Adams said the fair is not just for those about to graduate from college but a chance for freshman and sophomores to gain exposure to companies and have an opportunity to polish their networking skills.
“Students who attend the fair earlier in their collegiate careers will perform much better at later fairs,” Adams said. “Because they have already learned from previous ones.”
Adams warned those who are seriously looking for a job should be very prepared. Students should be dressed appropriately and should learn “how to work a room.” Those wanting a job need to make a good impression, she said.
“The representatives from these companies have good memories, and if students stand out, they will be remembered,” Adams said.
“We look for professionalism and preparedness. We like to see students who have taken the time to put together a good résumé and research the company before the fair. We also like to meet students who have good communication skills and are there to make connections with employers,” Preister said.
Adams offered her best advice for students planning to attend the fair, “Come prepared to sell yourself. Be ready to network and have a great résumé.”
If students need help with preparing for the fair they can find assistance and information on the ACDC website.
If students decide to drop into the fair they need to remember to be polite and professional. “Don’t go and just take things from the tables without speaking to the recruiter. They don’t like that,” Adams said.
Preister’s advice to students: “Have an idea what you are looking for, yet be open to alternative options or career paths you have not been exposed to.”