Government & Nonprofit Career Fair

Friday, October 23, 2015, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

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



Find out how to start your career in the non-profit sector or government by attending this fair. For more information go to


For the list of local, regional and national non-profit organizations as well as local, state and federal government agencies 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 17th – to reserve your space, log into your Ole Career Central Account and click on Government and Nonprofit Career Fair under the Events tab.

Transportation will be provided. ** To request transportation, a $5 reservation fee is required by October 17th 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 Janine Knutson at

Once registered, all communication with you about the job fair will be through e-mail. 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 government organizations registered for the fair and the specific positions they are recruiting for is available on-line here.


Workshops and Presentations During the Fair

Students are invited to attend the following workshop presentations:

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?  Individuals from various levels of government will discuss their current positions, and the path taken to arrive there.

12:30 p.m.  Leadership: The True Differentiator in the Federal Workforce

Our highly engaging keynote speaker, Joseph G. Schmitt, Executive Director of the Minnesota Federal Executive Board, will help you build your leadership toolkit to pursue federal positions or whatever direction you take. Mr. Schmitt is a former Executive at Target Corporation and UnitedHealth Group and a retired Marine Corps Officer.

1:45 p.m.  NP 101: Intro to Careers in Nonprofits
What is a non-profit organization?  Will I get paid if I work there? How do non-profits stay in business? What types of jobs are available?  What is the best way to get my foot in the door?  These questions and others will be discussed at this introductory session.


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 9-5, 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 with which you will be making contact at the fair

  • This is the most time consuming part of the preparation process but undoubtedly the most crucial. 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 online. 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 in 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. The online Benefit Statement will help you get started; the longer version of the benefit statement outlined 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 Ole Career Central 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, so log in to Ole Career Central to schedule an appointment.