For those approaching graduation — and those who try to think to the future beyond what they’re doing next Friday night — landing a job is often a big priority, albeit a stressful one. Leaving school and jumping into “the real world” is sweat-inducing, especially with student loans and apartment leases looming overhead. It doesn’t have to be this way. The University of Maine campus offers safety nets for those who pause to notice them.
This Wednesday, UMaine is hosting its annual Career Fair. It will take place in the New Balance Student Recreation Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A quick look at the Career Center’s event page shows that they are at full capacity for registered employers. Needless to say, opportunities will be plenty — for those who attend.
Maybe going to the Career Fair isn’t the most glamorous thing you could do on a Wednesday. It’s right in the midst of a surely busy week of classes and extracurriculars. However, this is a land mine for students. Pull yourself together for at least an hour and take the plunge. You may pass out resumes, shake some hands — firmly, with a smile preferably — yet feel like you made little difference toward your future. Be patient. At the very least, you will have practiced your professional presence and given your name to employers who may remember you in the future.
Beyond the Career Fair, there are opportunities on campus everyday which are free for the taking. The Career Center offers a bit of everything in employment help, ranging from job searching to resume assistance. Having a proper resume is one huge step that no student should ignore. If nothing else, take a peek online and read through the resume writing tips. An outstanding resume may be the difference between graduating mostly empty-handed and graduating with an edge.
Even simpler is the day-to-day networking opportunities which arise with unassuming faces. Maybe joining that club you’ve been wondering about will establish friendships with future people in your field of interest. A voluntary workshop makes your name known to potential employers. Take advantage of the established and the unspoken opportunities, and suddenly post-graduation isn’t so scary. Well, just a little less scary.
You don’t have to jump blind — just jump earlier, whether it’s for that ultimate frisbee game with potential networking connections or for the Career Fair, and give future-you a serious one-up.