Hiring of college graduates is up 13%, that’s according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Today, students at Chico State met with more than 60 companies to try their luck at landing a job during the university's annual career fair, which draws nearly a thousand students every year. It’s an opportunity for them to explore career options and make valuable contacts for the future. Chico State senior John Weiss has attended several career fairs in the past.
"It gives you that chance to talk to recruiters. You have to learn to sell yourself, and then even more importantly just be an active listener. Just ask (employers) questions and have them tell you about the company. Have them tell you what's good, maybe what's not so good about their company, and then you can go home and really weigh your options," he says.
With hiring on the rise for college grads, big companies like Pepsi, Yelp and Foster Farms are all looking to capitalize on the large crowds the career fair brings in. Chico State graduate Greg Evans has attended the event in the past and knows what it takes to get hired, but now he's on the other side of the table. He attended this year’s career fair as an employer looking for potential employees to work for Gallo Winery.
"We come to Chico State every year for the students. We know that they're socia, that they get involved, and that they can multi-task. The biggest part is personality and their ability to just hold a conversation with anyone because at the end of the day what we're recruiting for is someone who can talk to people," he says.
Some students say despite the poor economy in recent years, they're a lot more hopeful when they see just how many companies attend the event. Officials with the Chico State career center say they've also seen a recent increase in the number of students being hired at their career fairs.