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Preparation is Key for a Successful Job Fair

October, 2019
  • AbbVie Project Manager John Sauers greets a QCC student at the recent QCC Job Fair.
    AbbVie Project Manager John Sauers greets a QCC student at the recent QCC Job Fair
  • Students stopped into the QCC Job Fair to learn about employment opportunities and career options.
    Students stopped into the QCC Job Fair to learn about employment opportunities and career options.
  • Table Talk Pies was a popular booth at QCC's Job Fair.
    Table Talk Pies was a popular booth at QCC's Job Fair.
  • Unum was at QCC's Job Fair speaking with students about career opportunities.
    Unum was at QCC's Job Fair speaking with students about career opportunities.

Quinsigamond Community College students looking for a job had the opportunity to visit with 25 companies when the College hosted its Fall Job Fair in late October. For over 10 years, QCC has brought in a myriad industries to its job fair with the goal of making connections and finding potential employees.

Westaff, a professional staffing organization, has participated in QCC’s Job Fairs for the last five years or so, according to Leominster Branch Manager Jonathan Simms. He said that while the objective was to find potential full-time job candidates, many students at the fair were only looking for part-time employment.

“Although, we are trying to work with some viable candidates to match up multiple part-time candidates at one of our clients. For example, two people working part-time equals one full-time,” he said. “It was a good turnout, however in temporary staffing and recruiting it’s usually hit or miss and that is not a negative reflection on the candidate or QCC or the turnout for each job fair. We just may not have the right job to offer the candidate."

Human Resources Recruiter for Securitas, Ashleigh Grice, said the company has been participating in QCC Job Fairs for several years; however, this was her first year personally participating.

“It was an extraordinary experience for me as I had not been to a job fair like that one before. Being at QCC's Job Fair brought out some great potential candidates who would fit perfectly into Securitas program, especially with some of them not having any security experience. With some candidates who don’t have security experience, we have the opportunity to mold and groom each candidate into our ideal security officer,” she said.  

First-time company participant AbbVie, a research-driven biopharmaceutical company, was new to QCC’s Job Fair but not new to hiring QCC graduates.

“Since 1993 when I helped QCC launch their Biotech Certificate Program, we have hired probably in excess of 100 QCC graduates. Just about all of those hires resulted from their participation in the capstone course, ‘Techniques in Biotech,’ which has been taught continuously since 1993 by employees here at our site,” said AbbVie Project Manager John Sauers.

When looking for potential candidates, all the employers were quick to offer some words of advice to students in order to make the best impression possible.

“First and foremost, the students need to understand the importance of job fairs and come prepared (resumes, elevator speeches, research on the companies participating, etc.),” Mr. Sauer said.

“We look for dependability, accountability, a good work ethic and good communication,” Mr. Simms said.

They stressed bringing resumes to the job fair, having an “elevator speech” prepared that promotes the student as a viable job candidate; wearing proper attire (business casual); asking questions, and make sure to have a confident, positive and eager attitude.

"For future references just having a resume on hand and maybe 20 minutes of their time to conduct a brief interview," Ms. Grice suggested, adding, "It was a phenomenal experience and I can’t wait to be invited back for a second round."

Mr Saur said his company looks for students with good grades (minimum of 3.0), accomplishments outside of work, as well as an understanding of what AbbVie does, and an interest in specific interests within the company. While AbbVie personnel did not find any potential job candidates at this job fair, Mr. Saur said he discussed a return visit to QCC.

“I spoke with some of the event organizers about considering a targeted site visit by AbbVie staff who could present on our company, what we do, job openings and such and also treat the visit as an opportunity for students to submit resumes and let us know what opportunities they are interested in,” Mr. Sauer said.

Other companies that attended the job fair included:

  • 1st Advantage Dental
  • Autism Learning Partners
  • Bud’s Goods & Provisions
  • Charter Spectrum
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Connection
  • Continental Pools
  • CoWorx Staffing
  • Cumberland Farms
  • Fastenal
  • FedEx Ground
  • Invoice Cloud
  • Open Sky Community Services
  • Renewal by Andersen
  • Salmon Health & Retirement
  • Scribe America
  • Table Talk Pies
  • The Home Depot
  • UMass Memorial
  • Unum
  • Valet Park of America
  • Wegmans
  • YMCA of Central MA

To learn more about career opportunities, visit QCC’s Career Services & Credit for Prior Learning.

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