Job Fair prepares students for success

This Thursday, Career Services will present the 2014 Job Fair for Sonoma State University students. The Job Fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom. Students will have the opportunity to speak with 115 different companies about their organization and job availability within the company.  Over the past week, Career Services has offered a series of workshops for students to attend to prepare for the fair. Seven of the companies attending the fair have created presentations for students on a variety of topics including how to conduct yourself at a career fair, what employers look for in future employees and personal branding. 

Starr Staffing is one of the companies involved in the Job Fair and the workshops. Starr Staffing is a locally owned temp. agency that has been in the area since 1998. They receive job orders from companies and provide them with qualified, interested employees. The jobs they staff are located throughout Sonoma, Marin, Napa and Solano counties. Elsa Mata, a talent sourcer for Starr Staffing, says they try and serve the local community rather than nationally.

“We work really hard at finding people jobs here in the county. There’s a lot of staffing agencies out there that are national and we strive to focus on locally owned, Sonoma County businesses,” said Mata.

Starr Staffing is always looking for employees for a variety of jobs from part time to full time to seasonal work. 

“Check us out! Starrhr.com. We do end up getting a lot of Monday through Friday jobs but we also get a lot of one-time events in customer service,” said Mata. “There are part time jobs that college students would be awesome for and I don’t think that is being said often so I want students not to feel intimidated. Just come on by, we have offices in Napa, Fairfield, Petaluma and Santa Rosa.”

The group of companies in attendance this year is similar to what has been seen in the past. Some big name companies like Target, Kohl’s, and Enterprise Rent-a-Car as well as locally owned companies like Amy’s Kitchen will be there to discuss future employment with students. 

Along with these companies there will be representation from non-profit organizations, government agencies and representatives from local summer camps for those interested in summer internships or camp counselor jobs. 

According to Monica Alveraz, an employer relations specialist in Career Services, they are trying to diversify the companies as much as they can. 

“Every year its still a challenge to get employers for some of the underrepresented groups on campus, for instance Environmental Studies. Those employers are still hard to get to the fair just because they are usually smaller and harder to connect with leading up to the fair. There may be some majors that are disappointed this year but it’s also an opportunity for students to branch out a little and get that first job,” said Alveraz. 

“It will help students realize that this is what the job market looks like and get that experience and at least network with people. Even if you don’t have that perfect company for you at the fair this year you are still going to have a really good opportunity to work on your interview skills, work on your resume and putting yourself out there. There’s a lot of ways to get a lot out of the fair other than just finding that perfect job right off the bat.”

Both Alveraz and Mata encourage students to come prepared to the Job Fair. The companies will be looking for students that are interested in starting a professional career so it is vital to come in the proper attire with the appropriate materials to show your interest in the companies.

“Bring quite a few copies of your resume depending on how many employers you are planning on talking to. You’re going to want to research ahead of time which companies are coming and you want to try and tailor your resume for those specific employers so that when you are talking to certain companies you have a perfect resume to hand them. Also bring generic resumes for companies that you didn’t expect so you can hand them something,” said Alveraz.

“Dress business casual, be conservative in your dress as if you were going to a church service or business interview. Try not to wear any short skirts, and girls and guys should wear a button-down shirt. Also bring a good attitude. Be prepared that you are going to talk to employers, being in the right frame of mind is very important.”

For those students that cannot attend the Job Fair there are still many methods of finding jobs available in the area. One of the resources available exclusively to students at Sonoma State University is Seawolf Jobs. Seawolf Jobs is a service where companies post jobs on a forum available only to Sonoma State students. 

The individuals at Career Services are always updating the listings with current jobs available. Students can also visit the Career Center located on the first floor of Salazar in room 1070.

Enterprise Rent-a-Car will be hosting the last workshop in the series on Wednesday and the information will be on interviewing and dressing for success. That workshop will be from noon - 1 p.m. in Salazar 1070. For more information on the Job Fair and for a complete list of the organizations in attendance visit www.sonoma.edu/career.