Searching for a job can be a tough job in itself—especially for students with heavy course loads, outside responsibilities and not a lot of free time. For them, BMCC’s twice-yearly Career Fair is a godsend: It makes looking for a job easy.
Resumes in hand, more than 600 students in business casual attire descended on the college gymnasium on September 24 to network, explore employment opportunities and speak with recruiters from some 76 companies and organizations across a wide range of fields, from hospitality to human services.
“You can’t overstate the value of being able to meet representatives from so many employers under one roof on a single day,” says BMCC employer relations specialist Shemeka Brathwaite.
A wider roster of recruiters
While last fall’s Fair was limited to the retail sector, “we decided to include all industries this time, based on what we’ve heard from students as well as employers,” Brathwaite adds. No classes were held while the Fair was on, enabling students to focus solely on connecting with recruiters with no outside distractions.
That said, those who took the time to prepare got the most out of the Fair. The Center for Career Development conducted mock interviews, workshops in filling out a job application, and “Resume Rush,” where students could bring their resume for on-site review.
Notwithstanding the advantage of meeting recruiters face-to-face, establishing a compelling online presence is crucial to an effective job search. At the Fair's LinkedIn Photo Booth, students could have a professional headshot taken and learn how to create an effective LinkedIn career profile.
The Career Fair also afforded students an opportunity to practice their “elevator pitch” with potential employers—a 60-second summary of their education, relevant experience and skills, and their reasons for wanting to work for their company.
“The elevator pitch is the student’s first opportunity to introduce him- or herself and make a great impression on the employer,” Brathwaite says. “Hopefully, it will also be a lasting impression.”
Liberal Arts major Kenisha Pickering attended the Fair in the hope of finding a position in global compliance—a field in which she already has solid credentials. Born and educated in Panama, she also has experience in employee training, import/export trade regulations, and vendor relations.
Pickering chatted with three recruiters and came away with a particularly good feeling about her conversation with a recruiter from Santander Bank.
“I was encouraged to learn that they have a global trade department and left a copy of my resume with the recruiter,” she says. “I will definitely keep in touch with her.”