Resume and cover letters written, edited and revised? Check.
Professional LinkedIn photo taken? Check.
Mock interviews done? Check.
Research of potential employers completed? Check.
Hundreds of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students worked their way down their job search to-do lists this week as they prepared for the 2015 Spring Career Conference, an event that brought nearly 140 employers to campus Feb. 18 to talk with students about internships and full-time jobs.
"Leading up to the conference, we offer students a series of events and activities that help them prepare so they can make the most of the opportunity to network with employers who we know are interested in hiring Blugolds," said Staci Heidtke, associate director of Career Services. "We want them to feel prepared and confident as they share information about themselves and ask questions of the people who are here recruiting for their businesses and organizations."
The spring conference came as a new federal job report showed that the unemployment rate for workers with bachelor's degrees dropped to 2.8 percent, its lowest level since September 2008. The overall U.S. unemployment rate was 5.7 percent.
"Obviously, those numbers are very good news for our students," Heidtke said. "They will be entering the workforce at a time when demand for workers with bachelor's degrees is higher than it's been in many years."
Already, UW-Eau Claire students and graduates are heavily recruited by businesses and organizations of all kinds, Heidtke said, noting that employers say they hire Blugolds because they graduate with a strong academic base, as well as the critical thinking, problem-solving and interpersonal skills employers' value in workers in all fields.
The 100-plus employers who come to campus every fall and spring to participate in the career conferences include local organizations as well as nationally-known corporations.
The event is a time for students and alumni to discuss career plans, share resumes and meet representatives from employers who are interested in hiring Blugolds for internships and full-time positions.
Students from all majors attend the conference. Some students start attending their freshman year, hoping to make connections early in their college career that will lead to internships and future employment. Others come as their graduation nears, hoping to make contacts that will lead to follow-up interviews and job offers.
"While the conferences often lead to internship and job opportunities for some students, the experience itself is valuable to anyone who attends," Heidtke said. "It gives students a chance to practice their networking skills, get a sense of job opportunities in a variety of businesses, and ask questions that will help them determine what kind of employer might be a good fit for them. All of those things are important skills that will help students throughout their lives."
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