By Choi Yoon-ji
Employment season is back. According to Intercrew, an Internet-based recruitment agency, Korea? leading conglomerates announced plans to recruit 18,000 new employees in the second half of the year. To help students seek employment, universities around Seoul, including Ewha, have been busy all September holding job fairs on campus.
Each year these campus job fairs get bigger. Seoul National University, Yonsei University, Korea University, and Sungkyunkwan University all held job fairs at the beginning of last month with more than 50 companies participating. This year? job fair at Seoul National University was twice that of last year with about 5,000 students participating. However, Ewha? job fair lasted the longest, with 57 companies giving on-campus interviews from September 4 to 29, compared with that of other universities mostly held for two to three days.
According to Lee Hyun-jung, the Personnel Director at Job Korea, campus job fairs are becoming more diverse with various programs in order to break the formal image and to ease the stress of students who seek jobs. This year, Yonsei University arranged a ?oving Job Cafe,?where students could talk with corporate recruiters in a comfortable atmosphere while having a cup of coffee. Sungkyunkwan University offered attendees a ?ortune Cafe,?where students could have their fortunes told.
In addition, some universities provided makeup, image classes, and job fair libraries where students can find books related to careers and a chance to have their photographs taken and printed without any charge. Some universities also arranged a place for students to take a vocational aptitude test on computers.
Lee Da-young (Sungkyunkwan University, 4), who participated in image and makeup consulting said, ? was surprised to hear that my makeup style actually doesn? go well with my face. I found out about what kind of makeup style fits me the best and about weak points of my makeup.?Meanwhile at Ewha, students participated in presentations and one on one interviews with graduates and company recruiters throughout September. Presentations by companies including Kumho Asiana, IBM and CJ were also held at the Student Union Building. Especially during the second week of the fair, experts from counseling companies examined the resumes and cover letters of 200 students in front of the Ewha-POSCO Building.
Park Min-young (Chinese Lang. & Lit., 4), who participated in an interview with one of Samsung? subsidiaries said, ? had to wait a while for my turn but I was able to hear concrete explanations and acquire more high quality information directly from the employees whereas the information on computer websites usually covers only the basics.?One problem some students had at the fair was difficulty locating events, which were held in several locations due to the construction going on around campus. Moreover, some of the students couldn? participate in sessions held by the companies of their interest. Kim Seon-young (Economics, 4) said, ? wanted to attend a Korea Development Bank presentation but no one arranged one at our school. In this case, I could try to visit another school, but this will only be possible if the presentation doesn? overlap with my classes.?Although job fairs are usually thought as something being held for seniors, they are also open to underclass students. According to Lee Hyun-jung (Job Korea), universities are also trying to persuade students to participate in job fairs earlier in their college years, since career preparation is becoming essential to even first and second year students. However, students should avoid attending simply out of curiosity and being seen unprepared and inappropriate by the interviewers.
Lee Kyung-hee of the Ewha Career Development Center gave some useful tips to make the best use of job fairs. She advises students to be neatly dressed rather than casually dressed, since even at a campus job fair some companies actually recruit right on the spot or examine resumes. Moreover, students should do some research about the companies they wish to interview for in advance. ?oing well in these interviews might not always lead to employment, but it might put you in a better position,?said Lee.