Students and hiring businesses connected at the Illinois Valley Community College Job Fair Tuesday afternoon.
And they did so in higher numbers than previous years.
Associate Vice President for Student Services Mark Grzybowski said the event welcomed 74 employers and 256 job seekers, which results in five more employers than the previous year’s and more than 50 more job seekers.
“The students I talked to were very pleased with the eclectic mix of employers,” Grzybowski said in a phone interview.
He said the increase could be both the result of a higher demand for jobs in the area as well as a more “strategic” advertising campaign to students.
Grzybowski said the college was more selective of emails and text messages sent to students and they also moved the event back one hour so it lasted from 1 to 5 p.m. to catch students at the end of their classes.
He added the college also attempted to prepare students for the fair by having them prep their resumes and appropriate clothing to impress employers.
A few employers attending the fair did not have jobs open at the present time, but Grzybowski said it’s not uncommon for a business to be impressed by a candidate to the point where their name may be brought up in early discussions for future job opportunities.
“They might hire someone and find it’s not the right fit and then dip back into the pool,” Grzybowski said. “Just because they don’t have openings right now doesn’t mean they won’t in a couple weeks or a month from now.”
The college made an attempt to have multiple employers from a number of fields to give students a clear picture as to what sorts of businesses operate in the community.
It’s getting easier to get businesses as they have started to show additional interest in attending the fair and getting their name out into the community.
Grzybowski added there’s still a number of helpful tools at the college for students that were unable to attend the event.
All of the employers that attended are available on an electronic job board and he encouraged students to stop by the Career Services office.
Lisa Witalka, career and student services associate, is available at the offices in CTC-203 and can help students brush up their resumes, sit at computers to research employers and conduct mock interviews.
For more information on the Career Services department, call 815-224-0502 or visit ivcc.edu/cs.aspx?id=7000.