SVSU job fair aims to connect local businesses, applicants

Published: Oct. 18, 2019 at 5:46 PM EDT
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(10/18/19) - Education, health care, and manufacturing/engineering were three key career fields represented at Saginaw Valley State University's most recent job fair.

Upwards of 600 students, graduates and community members were expected to take part in the Fall University-wide Employment and Networking Fair.

SVSU's Career Services reports 134 businesses were on-hand to meet the job seekers.

Sanford freshman Daniel Hamilton is focused on earning a co-op position in mechanical engineering.

"My future is somewhere in this area, working either Dow, DuPont, somewhere local," Hamilton said. "Nexteer obviously."

He carefully selected his future career for two reasons. "It definitely was interesting to me, I knew I wanted to do something mechanical and hands on, that's why I kind of stayed away from more electrical or chemical, but definitely the jobs is a big bonus," he said.

SVSU graduate Paige Gardner is working on her masters degree in health administration at the University of Michigan.

Since high school, she's known there are jobs in health care, especially given our aging population.

"Even though I'm not doing the medical side of it, I'm still in the background scenes basically," Gardner said. "I really just enjoy helping people and that's what really drove me to health care."

The Midland-native graduates next April.

And while her fulltime career is months away, Gardner believes she has a better chance at landing a dream job if she meets potential employers in-person instead of online.

"They know your face, they know who you are, and you kind of get, even if it's not a full-blown interview, just a little bit about you, and I think that's a really great opportunity," Gardner said.

SVSU Career Services follows up with employers to find out if they're able to make connections. On average 81 percent of employers reported they interviewed at least one person, while 59 percent hired at least one person from the job fairs.

Tom Barnikow, Associate Director of Career Services, added these types of events offer unique opportunities for job seekers.

"The automation of resume submission has been a gift and a curse. A gift in that it makes jobs easier for human resources professionals, a curse in that you really don't get to learn anything about a potential applicant until you get to the interview phase," Barnikow said.

Bottom-line, businesses can get a better feel for who they might hire at in-person events.

Barnikow said employers really zero in on interpersonal interaction and communication skills, which are two things that aren't always easy to judge from a resume submitted online.

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