Buying a suit, creating a resume, and practicing an interview all paid off for the students of Illinois State as the Career Center had a successful career fair season this school year.

“It’s been a banner year for the students who attended the career fairs this year,” said Mike Minton, associate director of student relations. “Our focus is always on helping our students to be as well prepared for our career fairs as possible. And our numbers show that our students not only felt prepared but took advantage of the programs and services provided by the Career Center to help them achieve just that.”

The Career Center offered many opportunities for students to take advantage of and to help them put their best foot forward. The Career Center hosted its first Resume Critique and Mock Interview Days before both the Fall Internship Fair and Fall Career Fair, and again before the Spring Internship Fair and Spring Career Fair. Over 440 student attendees were able to have their resumes reviewed by actual hiring recruiters and practiced their interview skills through practice interviews.

“With 23 employers participating in these events, students had the chance to hear firsthand from recruiters specifically what they were seeking and what they found to be important in candidates they are seeking,” Minton said. “Students also received individualized attention and feedback directly from employers, assisting students with improving their internship and job search candidacy.”

Students also took advantage of the Career Center’s drop-in hours in which over 1,000 students participated. Career advisors also hosted over 50 programs, 200 class presentations to registered student organizations, 2,700 career advisement sessions, 25 other presentations, and 80 career-related presentations to various campus constituents. The Career Center also provided free resume paper to over 1,400 students, and printed out over 600 free business cards for students to distribute to employers.

All the preparation paid off as student attendance at fairs increased by over 24 percent over last year. “Employer participation also exceeded our expectations this year as well,” said Career Center Acting Director Pamela Cooper. “In fact, 150 new recruiting companies came to our fairs this year. This shows that not only are recruiters hiring, but that they see the quality and caliber of talent coming from Illinois State University.”

Fair Summary Graphics

Three smaller fairs were also held during the academic year bringing opportunities for students and hiring companies to connect, including the annual Fall Part-time Job Fair, a new Management Trainee Fair, and a Diversity Employment Expo (E2), which includes a job fair component.

“I am extremely proud of the students at Illinois State and the Career Center team that serves them,” Cooper said. “We already have begun planning for next year and are taking our career preparation and development to a whole new level. I am looking forward to all the opportunities we have ahead to connect employers with the fine talent at Illinois State.”