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Employers looking to hire despite bad economy

February 7, 2013

NIU Career FairsIn an economy where we hear weekly about how bad the job market is, students might ask themselves, “What’s the point of going to the Career Fairs?”

Career Services has an answer for job seekers: “Because it will help them get their names out there and put a face to the resume.”

The Convocation Center will be packed full this spring with employers looking to hire Northern Illinois University students.

“Companies are looking for all majors now and there are a lot of mid-size companies hiring for jobs and internships. There are many career fairs where companies will be knocking on (students’) doors. Employers tell us that they have jobs open, and are looking for NIU talent, an employer told me,” said Brandon Lagana, director of marketing and information resource Management at Career Services.

Brandon Lagana

Brandon Lagana

That doesn’t mean jobs are easy pickings.

Lagana uses the Olympics as an example. The first day brings the gala celebration of being at the Olympics, similar to commencement ceremonies for college students. The next day is the start of competition, which for students is battling for jobs.

Steven Williams, a senior organizational/corporate communication major, plans to make a good impression.

“When an interviewer is driving back to the office after the Job Fair and is thinking about the people they interviewed, you want them to say, ‘Do you remember that guy?’ ” Williams said. “You must’ve said something that made you be felt by that person.”

Career Services wants students who attend the Job Fair to remember a few things:

  • Be prepared. Visit Career Resource Center in Campus Life Building 235 for a resume review.
  • Be and look professional. Wear professional suits. Be kind and patient while waiting in line to meet employers.
  • Be grateful. Job seekers should send “Thank You” notes after the job fair to the employers they met.
  • Be proactive. LinkedIn is currently an important avenue for companies and serves as a recruiting tool.

NIU’s spring 2013 career fairs offer students the chance to network and impress potential employers, who rely on internships as an important source for identifying and hiring new talent.

To help in the preparations, Career Services will offer two workshops.

  • Internship Fair, Job Fair & Interview Preparation Workshop
    • 4:30 to 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11
    • Campus Life Building, Room 100
  • ABCs of Getting an Internship
    • 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13
    • Holmes Student Center, Capitol Room

Meanwhile, NIU’s job and internship search system – Huskies Get Hired! – is always available online. NIU students upload their résumés and publish their résumés to résumé books to the site; employers use the site to find new talent for jobs and internships.

For more helpful tips and information, call (815) 753-1641 or email [email protected].


Internship Fair
Tuesday, Feb. 19

The Internship Fair takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Convocation Center. Admission is free. Candidates are encouraged to research the list of employers online. Check back frequently, as new employers are added daily.

Full-Time Job Fair
Wednesday, Feb. 20

NIU’s Full-Time Job Fair takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Convocation Center for seniors and NIU alumni. Admission is free for NIU students, $5 for NIU alumni and $10 for non-NIU candidates. Again, candidates are encouraged to research the list of employers online. Check back frequently, as new employers are added daily.

Photo of an appleNIU Educators’ Job Fair
Monday, Feb. 25

NIU students and alumni are welcome to attend the open session from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Non-NIU students are welcome from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Interviews are by invitation only and are scheduled by the employers at the fair from 1:30 to 4 p.m.

Admission to the NIU Educators’ Job Fair is free for NIU students and alumni and $10 for all other candidates. Pre-register at

Retail Leadership Expo
Thursday, March 28
sponsored by Kohl’s

Attractive career options in the retail sector are causing college students to engage in a robust career and hiring environment and, according to a recent study published by the National Retail Federation, one in four Americans has a rewarding career within retail sector.

Hiring needs were identified in merchandising; retail operations (stores, field); merchandise planning; finance; information technology; inventory management; loss prevention; human resources; marketing and advertising; logistics and transportation; and multi-channel e-commerce.

The Retail Leadership Expo is a professional networking event which includes retail career overviews presented by top retail executives followed a networking “mocktail” reception with 15 to 20 retail companies. Professional dress is required. Bring plenty of résumés that were reviewed by Career Services.

The expo takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center, Admission is free. Pre-registration is required and will begin in February at

by Brandon Grosz