Government & Nonprofit Career Fair

Friday, October 28, 2016, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Coffman Memorial Union, Great Hall, Ground Floor
University of Minnesota
300 Washington Avenue SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455


Curious about a career in government? Interested in the nonprofit sector?

Make connections and learn more at the Government & Nonprofit Career Fair.

The Government & Nonprofit Career Fair is an excellent opportunity for students and alumni to explore career possibilities with nonprofit organizations and government agencies. For the list of local, regional and national nonprofits as well as local, state and federal government agencies who will be attending the 2016 Government & Nonprofit Career Fair click here. New organizations and agencies are added frequently, please check back often for the most updated list of participants. This annual event is open to all undergraduate students from the 30 Minnesota 4-year colleges and universities and participating regional colleges.

Pre-registration with the Piper Center is required by October 21, 2016 – to reserve your space, log into Handshake, go to the Events tab and click on Government and Nonprofit Career Fair.

Transportation will be provided. ** To request transportation, a $5 reservation fee is required by October 16th and refunded to attendees the day of the fair at transportation check-in. Stop into the Piper Center to reserve transportation. If you have questions on the timing of the transportation, please email Kristi Kehrwald (

Once registered, all communication with you about the job fair will be through email. If you have questions about whether the fair will benefit you, see one of the Piper Center staff members to discuss your specific goals and career direction. A list of organizations registered for the fair and the specific positions they are recruiting for is available here.


Presentations During the Fair

Students are invited to attend the following presentations:

10:00 a.m. – NP 101: Intro to Careers in Nonprofits Room

Did you know that nonprofits make up 11% of Minnesota’s workforce and about 3,500 nonprofits with at least one employee? What is a nonprofit organization anyway? Will I get paid enough if I work at one? How do nonprofits stay in business? What types of jobs are available? What is the best way to get my foot in the door? These topics and others will be discussed at this session.

11:15 a.m. – Professionals in Government: City, County, State and Federal Jobs
Have you ever wondered how people successfully make the step from college student to government professional? An eclectic panel of individuals from city, county, state and federal government will discuss their current positions, and the variety of paths taken to arrive there.

12:30 p.m. – Careers in Global Development: Exploring Humanitarian Aid, Global Health and Sustainability
Our keynote will be flying in from Washington DC to share her expertise in global development work. Come learn about this exciting field from Kate Warren, the Senior Director and Editor, Careers & Recruiting at Devex — the leading career and recruitment resource to the international development community. Devex members include 1,000 funding agencies, companies and NGOs in 100 countries:

To learn more about the presenters for these sessions, visit the 2015 Government and Nonprofit Career Fair website:

Prepare for the Fair

Prepare a resume          

  • If you have not yet started a resume, check out the Piper Center resume resources for information and ideas.
  • If you have a draft of a resume that you’d like critiqued, stop by the Piper Center anytime between 8-5, Monday-Friday.
  • Make a sufficient number of copies of your resume on high quality bond paper to bring to the fair (buy resume paper at places like St. Olaf’s print center, Target, Insty Prints). You should be able to estimate the number of contacts you will want to make at the fair to judge how many resumes you will need by using the employer list.

Research the organizations participating in the fair

  • This is the most time consuming but undoubtedly the most crucial part of the preparation process. Recruiters will expect that you know something about the positions they are offering and about the organization they represent. Last year, several recruiters screened students by starting their conversations with the question, “what do you know about us?”
  • To begin the research process, access the employer list. The list of employers will appear; choose the employers/positions of interest to you. Those employers who have a web site of their own have a web address listed.
  • If there is an “Apply online” feature on the website for an opening of interest to you, we strongly encourage you to apply via the web prior to the fair. (Some agencies require an online application before you can be considered a candidate.) This will also demonstrate your initiative, allow for a better conversation at the fair with the recruiter, and speed up the hiring process.

Prepare a benefit statement to use while introducing yourself at the booths on the fair day

  • A mini-benefit statement is a concise way to introduce yourself and pique the interest of a recruiter. Be creative in putting together a 20-30 second sound bite that will link your skills to a specific position, highlighting your best qualifications. Creating a longer version of the benefit statement outlined here will assist you in continuing your conversation when a recruiter asks, “Tell me more”.

Brush up on your interview skills

  • Prepare answers highlighting your skills and experiences for various types of interview questions. See the online interviewing guide to learn about the different types of interviews and sample questions.
  • The best preparation for an interview is practice. Piper Center Career Coaches are happy to assist you by conducting a practice interview. In a practice interview, the Career Coach acts as a recruiter asking you the kind of questions that you can expect during a real interview. You have the opportunity to get feedback on your answers and to ask any questions you have about the interview process. Log in to Handshake to schedule a practice interview.

All of the Piper Center staff are eager to help you have a good experience; ask us your questions, have us critique your resume, get our feedback on your benefit statement and answers to interview questions. There are open interviewing slots on the Career Coach schedules. Log in to Handshake to schedule an appointment.