Zach Donnenfield | Mustang News

Walking into a career fair as a student can be nerve-wracking, especially for College of Liberal Arts (CLA) students in an environment filled with tech companies and engineers. By knowing how to highlight liberal arts skills in a field often dominated by STEM majors, CLA students can transform any career fair into the perfect job market for them.

Pick an interest

At a career fair with hundreds of companies and industries, knowing what is available for your major and what you are interested in can help focus your search and reduce stress.

“The first step is finding out what positions and companies are coming that they are interested in because really there definitely are so many opportunities,” career counselor and CLA specialist Laura Hunkler said.

Because CLA students have many different skills, students should determine their top-choice companies by identifying their projected career path. After this process, students can tailor their resumes to highlight specific skills as they relate to the
chosen field.

Marketing your skills

With a different skill set than STEM applicants, CLA majors must find ways to highlight their resumes and make them outstanding to employers. Richard Besel, the director of Interdisciplinary Studies in Liberal Arts (ISLA) said a background in liberal arts can make an applicant stand out.

“Another option is for students to emphasize how their liberal arts major or minor provides them with a new or different perspective on tech-oriented products. For example, the Science, Technology and Society minors may give those liberal arts students something that makes them distinct from other applicants,” Besel said.

Building a network

In many cases, the career fairs host many big name tech companies, which may not interest every student. However, attending a career fair still has the potential to lead to great opportunities.

“Even if they’re not going for career positions, starting to network and build these connections can alert students to career opportunities later in their job search,” Hunkler said.

Not every encounter with a potential employer will be the right fit.

“Even if the connection does not turn into a position right away, you never know when that person has something in the future that is perfect for you,” Besel said.

College of Liberal Arts Career Month 

Throughout January, the CLA will host events for students to explore more job opportunities in their field. With panels and presentations, as well as a local career fair, students can feel comfortable learning about and diving into opportunities that pertain to their studies.

“We created College of Liberal Arts Career Month as a response to CLA students feeling like maybe the Career Fair was not the easiest place for them to find positions,” Hunker said.

The College of Liberal Arts Career Month is a unique opportunity for students to search for their perfect job or internship and continue to build connections in their field.

Regardless of the companies and industries presented at a career fair, students of any major can explore new career opportunities, network with successful businesses and practice their skills as job applicants.

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