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The Murray State News

Career Fair provides networking opportunities

Photo courtesy of Katie Kriesky
Students attending the Career Fair can meet with employers and graduate schools.

Murray State Career Services has some vital tips for students hoping to make a good impression at the upcoming Career Expo this March.

The Career Expo is a two-day event held in the CFSB Center from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. March 12 will include companies for all majors, and March 13 will be STEM- and OSH-focused. That same week, the Agriculture Career Fair on March 12 will be in the Curris Center large ballroom from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m, and the Teacher Career Fair will be on March 15 in the CFSB Center from 8 a.m. to noon.

Career Fairs are one of the best ways for Murray State students to connect with prospective employers and graduate schools. Over 170 big-name and niche organizations will be on campus, ready to meet students and talk about what they have to offer. Many company attendees are returning Murray State alums who come to share opportunities students may not know are open to them. 

Matthew Purdy, director of Career Services, had five big tips for making the most of this Career Expo and any other career event students may attend: 

  • Students should come prepared. Have your resume reviewed, and bring copies in case interested organizations are accepting them. Take a look at the list of attending organizations on Handshake, and research ones that are of interest to you. If you find an opportunity you are interested in, apply for it beforehand and tell the employer when you meet at the fair.
  • Students should try to arrive early. Employers often remember the first ten students they talk to, and though they may remember others, they meet many people throughout the day.
  • Students should make a good first impression. The events require at least business casual dress, but business professional attire is encouraged. When talking to employers, maintain eye contact and smile. Know how to introduce yourself in a way that quickly highlights what you have to offer. 
  • Students should follow up with prospective employers. Ask for business cards or email addresses of those you speak to, and reach out after the fair. Thank them for coming to the event and speaking with you about their organization’s opportunities. Similar to arriving early, this will help set you apart from other students. 
  • Students should remember they are competing for open positions. Many of these companies are traveling not only to Murray but to campuses across the country looking for hires. To stand out from the rest, you need to make a good impression.

The goal of career fairs is to boost student employment. The networking opportunities they provide are one of the best ways to find jobs you are qualified for and interested in. Proactively engaging with these potential employers can create a lasting impression that supports your career progression.

“The most effective way to learn about opportunities in the world is relationships,” Purdy said. “Studies have shown that over 80% of open jobs are never posted online. They come through those relationships.”

Career Services works hard each year to make that year’s Spring Career Expo better than the last. Throughout the event, fair workers are taking notes and collecting feedback from attendees to ensure a streamlined and beneficial experience. These workers will be available during the fair to help guide anyone who isn’t sure where to start. 

The Career Services staff and student workers are committed to helping Murray State students find the right path throughout and after college. The Career Expo is one of many events they hold each semester, along with the services regularly offered in 100 Oakley Applied Science. Visiting their office can help you prepare for the career fairs with resume advice, professional clothes from the Career Closet and other valuable tips.

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About the Contributor
Gray Hawkins
Gray Hawkins, Staff writer
Gray Hawkins is a freshman journalism major. They enjoy writing, reading, listening to some music and playing D&D. Some of their favorite book series are: The Inheritance Cycle, Six of Crows and Percy Jackson and the Olympians. They spend most of their time in the dorm with their ESA bearded dragon, Monarch.

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