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NMU?event pairs students, employers


October 3, 2011
By JOHN PEPIN - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - For college students hoping to find employment, the Northern Michigan University Fall Job Fair Wednesday could be a good place to start.

The fair will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Great Lakes Rooms of the Bottum University Center.

According to an NMU announcement, the fair is an opportunity for employers to share information with NMU students (not necessarily just soon-to-be graduates) about a wide range of career possibilities. Employers are also welcome to recruit for full-time or part-time positions, internships and summer staff. Typically, more than 400 students attend the job fair each year.

Article Photos

Alison Neumann, left, and Steve Fournier talk about employment opportunities at Family Video with Northern Michigan University students Neal Glatt and Jeff Lubbers, right. Family Video was one of 49 employers at the Upper Great Lakes Collegiate Job Fair at NMU in this file photo. (Journal file photo)

There is no cost for alumni, employers or students to attend the Fall Job Fair.

"This is an opportunity where they can talk face-to-face with decision makers," said Steven LaFond, assistant director of career services at NMU. "You're talking directly to people who can hire you."

LaFond said roughly 60 employers are expected to attend the fair, which should be capacity for the venue.

"There's quite a diverse group of employers of all kinds," LaFond said. "A lot of them are returning because they like hiring NMU grads."

The website suggested several tips for college job seekers in the current tough economy. The first thing to do is to post your resume on a jobs website, like which is the largest.

But after that, the website suggests not being lazy and doing the following:

- Networking. Do it online and offline. Connect with as many people and businesses as you can and let them all know you are looking for a job. The more legwork you do on your own, the better chance you will have of meeting someone that has a job for you or knows someone who can help you.

- Personalize every resume and cover letter you send out. It's much easier to send your stock resume along with a general cover letter but that is what most other people are doing. You need to set yourself apart and show employers that you are the real deal. The extra effort you put into constructing customized resumes and cover letters tailored for each possible job could make the difference.

- Double and triple check your spelling and grammar. A misspelled word or sloppy sentence is not what you want to have at this stage of the game. Given two candidates that are equal, an employer will probably hire the one that didn't make mistakes on their resume.

- Look everywhere. If you can't seem to find a job on campus, look off campus. If you can't find a job in your college town, start expanding your search. Look for online jobs or freelance opportunities online. Be as creative as you can and think out of the box. That is easier said than done, but use this job hunting time to learn about yourself and figure out what you can and can't do.

Remember, this is probably not going to be the last time in your life you will be looking for a job. Hopefully it will, but the odds say it isn't. Work hard to learn how to find a job. Some people are definitely better at it than others and generally speaking, those who put in the most effort are the ones that end up being the most successful at finding something.

LaFond said the job market for NMU graduates in Marquette is challenging because competition is tough with so many local grads wanting to stay in the area.

"It's complicated and difficult," LaFond said.

He said even moving as near as Escanaba could increase chances of finding a job.

"It gives you a better chance, less competition," LaFond said.

NMU also holds a job fair in February with a summer employment focus and the Upper Great Lakes Collegiate Job Fair will be held at NMU in March, which features employers from the Midwest.

Throughout the year, the Career Services Department at NMU works with jobseekers with a range of assistance.

"We help prepare our students and alums to compete in the job market," LaFond said.

For more information, visit: or call the Career Services Department at 227-2800.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.



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