Saving Your Job Searches: GoldPASS Edition

Editor’s note: While this post talks about saving “job” searches, the same tips apply to internship searches.

By: David

Say you find a list of awesome job postings on GoldPASS, but your 2 o’clock obligation is in five minutes. Yet, you have no idea what you entered to compile such an awesome list. Lucky for you, there is a magic button in GoldPASS that allows you to save your searches. Today’s post will be centered on the importance of saved searches. I cannot recall how many times saved searches have…well…saved me from scuffling and shuffling through a website to find the job postings that I was dying to apply for. Many job posting websites have various ways to go about the saved search process, but today I’ll show you the simple way to go about it through GoldPASS. Let’s begin!

GoldPASS
Before jumping in, it’s important to know that GoldPASS can get quite hefty in terms of the amount of job openings that are posted on a regular basis. With this in mind, it’s important to save your searches in GoldPASS before your desired posts get lost in the vast sea of job openings, which is not a pleasant scenario when applying for jobs. Assuming that you already know how to apply and look for positions on GoldPASS, I’ll briefly go over it again in Step 1 and then jump straight into the saving your search process. Fortunately, if you don’t have experience with finding positions on GoldPASS, you can read all about it in a previous blog post, How to Apply for a Position in GoldPASS.

Step 1: Entering KeyWords
So the first step you always want to do is to fill out your desired sections for a job search. To narrow down your search, add specific information and leverage the advanced search option (which I already have opened at the bottom of the image) to better filter your options. A good tip for GoldPASS job searches is to NOT fill out every single section as too many filters can lead you to zero postings.

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Step 2: The Magic Button: “Save Search”
Next up is the holy, magic button: save search. By looking at the image, you can see on the right-hand side where the red arrow is pointing to save your search.

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Step 3: Entering a name for the search
Upon clicking the button, a small window like this will pop up which will direct you to place a name to represent the search. In this case, I’ve decided to name it “Full-Time Entry Level” as I am looking for full-time entry level positions after graduation.

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Step 4: I want to…
Now that you have your search saved, you can always come back to it. In order to do so, go to the “I want to…” button on the left-hand side of GoldPASS as indicated in the screenshot below.

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Upon clicking on the button, it will expand and look something like this (see below). To clarify, you will have to click the “Saved Searches” button to further expand the list of searches that you have saved. From there, you will see the names appear in which you have given a name to each specific search option such as “Full-Time Entry Level” as I have in the previous step.

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Step 5: Voila!
And there you have it! A five-step process to saving your searches on GoldPASS. Every time you click your saved search options (Full-Time Entry Level, etc.) you will be redirected to the keywords that were saved under that specific category.

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Conclusion
Before leaving, now that you know how to save your searches on GoldPASS, I would highly recommend for you to take this concept of saved searches with you wherever online you decide to apply for jobs. Searching for jobs can get messy at times and it’s never fun having to constantly start from square one. So always, always, ALWAYS save your job searches or at least keep track of them when searching. Till then, keep saving those searches and as always, stay gold.

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Know How to Use the Tools in the Toolbox

By: Tori

We’ve all been told the tips and tricks for interviews from peers, teachers, and family members. You understand the importance of knowing your strengths and weaknesses, reading over those dreaded situational-based questions, practicing your smile and wave, and making sure you brush your teeth and shower beforehand.

If you’re like me, you still get confused on how to use these tips to help you prepare for an interview. It’s as if you have all the tools in the toolbox, but no idea what any of them are for.

The last time I prepared for an interview it was like studying for a test. Not just your nice, easy 10 point vocabulary quiz. No, it was like those 40% of your grade midterm exams. Do I regret the effort and time I put into this? Absolutely not. It was completely worth it. I firmly believe it is how I landed my internship at Hormel Foods– I got an A on the exam.

I decided to use the tips, or tools, I had heard numerous times before and actually take the initiative to practice them. I think more often than not this is where many people fail when it comes to interviews. You have to practice for them. It’s like writing a speech for class. You don’t practice it once before you speak in front of 30 people; you practice it a bajillion times, still hoping you won’t embarrass yourself when you go up and do the real thing.

One of the most successful ways I prepare for interviews is by making an Experience-Task-Growth Chart. I make three columns and write the role, what I did, and how I grew down on a piece of paper. This allows me to visualize my skills and abilities without having to think too hard. It also makes practicing those dreaded situational-based questions much easier because I can literally see my role, what I did, and how I grew or accomplished a goal, right on the piece of paper in front of me.

Here is an example of my Experience-Task-Growth Chart:

Experience: My role Task: What did I did Growth: How I grew
Sassy Strawberry Cashier Counted Tills

 

Assisted Customers

Cleaned the Shop

Managed stock

Held accountable for money and store upkeep

Was a positive influence on the business with my enthusiastic personality and attention to the customers

Problem solved based on customer situation, for example coupons failing
Did what I felt was best; was able to make quick decisions
Followed procedures and safety regulations

Austin Country Club Lifeguard Regulated pool

and safety of patrons

Developed relationships with members

 

Undivided attention and full alertness to patrons and members

Confidence in my ability and certification in CPR and First Aid

Remained personable toward members

 

Class Title Teaching Assistant Held one-on-one meetings

Met with professor weekly

Spoke in front of the class weekly

Graded assignments

Adapted to different personalities in order to fulfill criteria

Developed relationships with students and helped them transition into a new environment- I did this by relating to their experiences

Responsible for fair and valued work

Sacrificed my own time to be there for students in a difficult transition

Cru Summer Mission Participant Spent 4 weeks with college students all over the US in Crested Butte, CO.

Experiential learning; hiking, biking, backpacking, whitewater rafting

Grew in relationships with others, community, and leadership

Understood diversity; lived with 10 other girls who were previously strangers

Learned how to be vulnerable in new situations

Cru Leadership Team Member Attended weekly meetings to plan and prepare our large group meeting for 70+ students

Met one-on-one with freshman members

Marketed the organization and conferences

Utilized time management and collaboration skills

Creative; learn to think outside of the box

Problem solving- students were not as involved and their was a change in our organization. I had to use my creative and critical thinking to develop ways for students to be more engaged and apply a different approach

 

Another thing that helps me while I am being interviewed is bringing a copy of my resume. Usually I just set it to the side, but if I need to answer a question and can’t think of a great example I reference my resume. While many people may think this is distracting, it actually shows you are prepared and provides you with more opportunities to relate your experiences in unique ways.

Now that you know how to use a few of those tips, or tools in your toolbox, you’ll be better prepared for your next interview.

Good luck, and remember to be authentic!

Of Possible Interest: 

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Control Your Interview

By: Kirsi

Nauseation of when your home team squanders a playoff game is equivalent to the sick to your stomach feeling of bombing an interview. As a freshman electrical engineer, I failed a technical interview for a computer aided design company. They challenged me to write a recursive programming method, describe how the inside of a motor works, and explain the forces and stress points on a stop light pole in ten minutes. Unsalvageable as your interview may seem, there is hope to take control of your interview! An interview gone wrong can be saved by expanding on questions you are asked, transforming negative responses into positive ones, and amending a closing statement.

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Expand on Questions
Although human resources has the almighty power to hire and fire, they can not read your mind. When you answer interview questions keep in mind that your interviewers did not share your experience with you. Illustrate your experience with goals, problem solving, results and quantities. Instead of saying “I practiced leadership when I was a manager at Taco Bell” say; “My leadership skills were put to use when I was a manager at Taco Bell leading a team of 10 individuals per shift. I vetted five perspective workers per month, learned each position, and ensured each employee completed their training.” Do not be afraid to expand on your experience. You are not bragging! You are clarifying and explaining your experiences. Sometimes interviewers are specifically instructed NOT to ask the interviewee to elaborate. The interviewer wants to see how you communicate your qualifications.

Thinking on Your Feet
Interviewers will purposefully throw curve-ball questions that catch you off guard. Not just to watch you squirm –  to see how handle the unexpected. When asked “What is your greatest weakness?” Do not leave your answer at “I have problems waking up in the morning.” Explain your improvements and focus on the positives. “I am working on getting to my 8:00am class by setting earlier alarms, keeping a regular sleeping schedule and cooking a great breakfast. I have been improving and getting to school early to get a good seat.” Typical curve-ball questions include…

  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • What is the hardest decision you have ever made?
  • What was your greatest failure?
  • Why should I hire you?

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Powerful Closing Statement
At the end of your interview, especially if you feel the interview did not go well, end with a closing statement summarizing qualifications. Typically an interview will conclude with “Do you have any questions?” You can then appropriately add, “I don’t have any questions at this moment. However, I would like to end with why I am the most qualified candidate for this position…(key narratives that make you most qualified).” I have actually used this strategy in interviews gone wrong and have gotten job offers as a result. Again, interviewers may be specifically instructed NOT to ask more questions than the handful supplied so each candidate gets the same chance. Interviewers may not ask questions that naturally invoke the best answer from you. You can still take control of the interview by amending a powerful closing statement that best shares your strengths.

Other Preparation Tools
Some interviews will focus solely on “soft skills” –  how you interact with coworkers. Interview Stream is a good resource for interviewing practice. You can listen to your answers, count your “umms,” and check for idiosyncrasies. Depending on how technical your major is you may be asked to perform a technical interview as I described in the introduction. Ask recruiters, professors, acquaintances who work for that organization, tech club members, LinkedIn/ online communities, and friends about what you could expect from that organization’s technical interview. There are plethora of free technical interview practice sites.

Of Possible Interest: 

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Photo Source: Unsplash

The Art of the Skype Interview

By: Katie

I had my first experience with a Skype interview when I interviewed for a grad program recently. Skype interviews can be very convenient – they can be done wherever you want, and you don’t have to worry so much about wearing the right pants and shoes or making sure you put in a breath mint beforehand. With these different conditions, though, comes a set of factors unique to video interviewing that need to be considered. Here are a few tips I learned to prepare for Skype interviews.

Skype Interview

Set the stage.

A big part of preparing for a Skype interview is determining where it will take place. Find a quiet area where you won’t be interrupted (no barking dogs or roommates barging in!). Make sure your interviewing spot has a simple background for you to be in front of – no distracting patterns, colors, or items on the wall. The lighting also should be considered. It needs to be bright enough for you to be seen, but not overwhelmingly so. Seeing what your outfit, hair, and any jewelry will look like is also important. Something that may look good in-person might not look good on camera. Finally, determine how the camera will be set up in relation to you. Set it up so your upper body is showing (not just your face) – it should mimic what you would look like to an interviewer sitting across from you in person. Try different chair positions and stacking your camera up on books or other props to find the best set up.

Make eye contact.

When you Skype or video call someone, do you look at their face on the computer screen? Most people probably do, but it’s not the best in an interview setting. Eye contact is important, and if you’re looking at the interviewers’ faces, to them it will look like your gaze is slightly downward. Looking directly into the webcam is the best way to mimic actual eye contact in a video call. To break the habit of looking at the screen, you can practice saying your answers to common interview questions while looking into your webcam (practicing questions and making eye contact at once!).

Have helpful materials nearby.

The benefit of interviewing via Skype is that you can have extra items around you that the interviewer can’t see. This could be your resume, which you could have printed off on the table or pulled up on your computer screen so you can easily refer to it. Another item I found useful was having post-it notes on my computer screen with words of inspiration on them. Interviewing is stressful for many people (like me), and having that extra bit of motivation or your resume for backup can be very comforting!

Practice and troubleshoot.

Interviewing by video is different than in person for several reasons, but one big one is that there are more things that could go wrong. You could have your Skype set up so your video or your interviewer’s video doesn’t show, or the sound on your computer might not work correctly, or the internet connection could be bad, and so on. To make sure you won’t experience any of these Skype interview faux pas, practice making a Skype call before your actual interview. This will give you the time to troubleshoot any problems that come up, and simply make you more comfortable with what the interview will be like.

Besides these tips, there are several other ways to prepare for interviewing in general. Check out the interviewing-related posts on our blog, do a mock interview with one of our Career Counselors, or stop into our office and we’ll help you prepare!

Of Possible Interest: 

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Photo Source: Unsplash | Luke Chesser

Popular Job Search Engines and Their Strengths & Weaknesses

By: Logan

In recent years it has become much more popular to use online job search engines.  Online job websites are attractive because you can quickly apply to many positions as opposed to having to go in to each company and apply in person. Using online sites also gives you a better variety of positions and you can easily use filters to find a job that is attractive to you. In this blog post I will review a few examples of popular job search engines and state a few of their strengths and weaknesses. I would like to state I am not endorsing any of these sites, I am simply reporting on the pros and cons of commonly used job search engines.

Online Job Search Sites

One popular site I have used is called “Indeed.” On Indeed you upload your resume and some personal information and easily apply to jobs. One thing I like about Indeed is for some positions you have the option of apply with your “Indeed Resume,” which is basically where you can apply to a job with a couple clicks of the mouse. Instead of filling out a long application you can just send your resume in and the company judges applicants by the information provided. You can search for jobs by location, position, or the name of the company so your results can be as general or specific as you would like. I like Indeed because of its ability to quickly apply to positions and because the site is fairly easy to navigate.

The next website I will review is called “SimplyHired.” SimplyHired has the same general concept of Indeed and other sites, but has some qualities that set it apart. On SimplyHired you have the option of exploring salaries for different careers. You can search by job title or location, compare job offers, or plot your current salary and compare it to local and national averages. One feature of SimplyHired I enjoy is the success stories section. Here you can read firsthand accounts of people who found jobs by using this site and where they are now. I think it is helpful to read these and see how they used the site to their advantage.

Minnesota Works is another great resource for finding jobs and internships, and is sponsored by the MN Dept of Employment & Economic Development. This site is easily one of the best websites to use because it finds a lot of different positions and jobs. One weakness of the site is you have to sign up and provide a bit of personal information. It is a very secure site to use, don’t get me wrong. Some people just do not like to provide a lot of personal information on the internet. And it obviously only searches for jobs in Minnesota, so it will not be beneficial to anyone looking for an out of state position. This site makes it unbelievable easy to find different positions. There are many filters you can use to refine your results such as searching by zip code, county, or region of the state. You can also search by occupation or keyword. Overall I really enjoy this site because of the high number of jobs and internships provided and I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a job or internship in Minnesota.

Although all of these sites are great for looking for positions, you should not forget our most common methods of finding jobs and internships. These include GoldPASS and LinkedIn. GoldPASS is a University of Minnesota service where you can search for jobs, internships, and volunteering listings. Here you can post your resume for employers to see, as well as search and apply to different positions. We strongly recommend using GoldPASS since it is free to use and is a great resource for all University of Minnesota students and alumni. Plus, it’s only open University of Minnesota students and alumni to see, and not to the general public like other job sites. LinkedIn can also be a valuable resource for finding jobs. You can fill out your profile with all of your information and you can either search for jobs and positions, or employers can reach out to you about their listings. If you do not use LinkedIn or GoldPASS I would strongly recommend you create a profile for both because they can be very beneficial for anyone who is searching for jobs. If you’d like assistance starting to use either of these platforms, we host LinkedIn/GoldPASS drop-in hours every Thursday, 2-4pm in our office.

There are hundreds, possibly thousands of job search engines on the internet. The trick is to know which ones are the most legitimate and provide the best outcomes for those using the site. The few I listed above are all great resources to use when searching for jobs or internships. I would recommend taking a look at them all. Each site may have slightly different positions and opportunities, so it would be a good idea to review them all so you don’t miss any opportunities. One of the most important things to remember when searching for jobs is to just be proactive and keep trying! You probably won’t get a callback for every job you apply for, but it is always a good idea to get your name out and apply to many different positions.

Just a reminder, applying for jobs online is just one method of job searching…and it shouldn’t be the only method you use. Our Career Handbook highlights several methods of job searching, and, as always, you can make an appointment with one of our career counselors to discuss your search.

Of Possible Interest: 

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Photo Source: Unsplash | Damian Zelski

Score a Career with the US Government, Part 1

By: Kirsi

Part One: USAJobs Search

Government_Employees

From the Forest Service to the FBI and from NSA to NASA all prospective government employees use the same common application on the USAJobs.gov website. USAJobs is the one stop shop to view all career openings in every agency in the US Government. Being the top employer of US Citizens, the US Government is a perfect place to jump-start your career in any discipline. Psychiatrist as a Foreign Services Specialist, Senior Technical Advisor for the Department of Energy and Credit Union Examiner are among positions found on USAJobs. College undergraduate positions as a Pathways Intern (Co-Op Co-operative Education) are available at various agencies leading up to positions requiring previous employment and leadership experience. Once you find your dream job, prospective employees are recommended to use the Resume Builder on USAJobs to apply for the positions posted. In this three part blog post series I first will share how to use USAJobs as a job search website, second divulge on how to make a stellar resume using the Resume Builder and last expand on unique opportunities college students have with the US Government.

Using USAJobs for Job Search

The home page of USAJobs provides a simple job search offering to sort open positions by keyword and location. If you do not yet have a position or agency in mind and you would like to browse based on your interests you can use the Advanced Search. By clicking under the “Search Jobs” tab in the top right corner you will find the “Advanced Search“. The advanced search allows you to narrow down positions based on your major, previous experience, and work environment preferences.

USAJobs_Advanced_Search

If you are set on working in a particular city or country USAJobs is testing a job search you can perform by clicking a location on a world map. By clicking under the “Search Jobs” tab in the top right corner of the home page you will find the “Map Search”.

USAJobs_Map_Search

Once you find a job of interest scan through its requirements to make sure that you qualify. Do not weed yourself out. If you believe you meet most of the preferred qualifications apply anyway and give the hiring manager the final say. Another important component of the USA Job posting is the application deadline. Often positions on USAJobs are only open for one week due to high visibility and popularity of positions. Since the job opening window is so short it is wise to have a resume ready on hand at all times. That way when the small application window opens only small tweaks would be made to cater your resume to the position. Resume creation will be expanded on in part two, however, we will step through how to make a Profile on USAJobs.

USAJob_Position_Of_Interest

Job Position Alert Emails

By making a profile on USAJobs you can save a position of interest and get updates via email when positions you are interested in are open. To make a profile click “Create an Account” in the top right corner of the home page.

USAJob_Create_Account1

Once you are done creating your profile your “My Account” page will look similar to this…

USAJob_Create_Account2

To get email alerts when intriguing positions are posted click the “Saved Searches” button on the right hand side of your “My Account” page. Click “Create a new saved search” in the middle of the “My Account” page. You will be prompted to answer questions about the opportunity you would like to be alerted about. You can choose the frequency that you are alerted via email.

These are the basic search fuctions USAJobs provides to find your dream Government career. In the next two posts I will expand on how make an eye catching resume using the Resume Builder and talk about unique opportunities college students have with the US Government.

Of Possible Interest: 

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Minnesota Education Job Fair Has Gone Mobile

By: Logan

Are you an Education Major interested in attending the Minnesota Education Job Fair? Are you looking for a service that has everything you need to be successful at the fair? Look no further, we have just the thing for you. We are proud to announce the arrival of the brand new Minnesota Education Job Fair mobile app! This app has useful information about the job fair including how to register, how to prepare, the employers, schedule, and other services. This blog post will be breaking down the app and talking about all of the different information the application holds. This app will be useful for anyone thinking about attending the fair in April.

The University of Minnesota has an app for attending job fairs as well. That app is simply the University of Minnesota Guidebook. If you are interested in learning more about this app you can read our other blog posts about the Guidebook app here and here. They have similar formats, but each has distinct differences as well. Both of these apps are available for Apple and Android phones, and are free to download. These apps contain helpful information about not only the general information on the fair, but ways you can be more prepared and succeed at the fair.

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When you first access the Minnesota Education Job Fair app you will come to the home page that has many options to explore. Here you have access to all of the app’s options. There is a section for general info, which simply states the location of the job fair, the dates and times, and directions to get there. This page breaks down all of the general information on the job fair in one place in an easy to read format. The next button on the home page that you can press is the “How To Register” option. This section obviously talks about how you can personally register for the fair, and breaks it down simply. This section is useful for anyone who is unsure of how to register for the fair, or for anyone who has questions regarding registering.

The next section is one of my favorites. It is the “Prepare for the Job Fair” category. This section is my favorite because it doesn’t just list off general information about the fair, it talks about how you can personally do well at the fair and make the most out of your experience.

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It has multiple notes which include General Fair Info, Research Before the Fair, Prepare for the Fair, What to do At the Fair, How to Connect with District Representatives, Interviewing at the Fair, After the Fair, and it even includes Job Fair Resource Videos. This section of the app tells you how to get ready and get your research for the fair done beforehand. It then gives you tips on what to do before, during, and after the fair. It gives a lot of very helpful tips on how to present yourself professionally and successfully. This portion of the app can be helpful because students can read some of these tips and refresh themselves on proper job fair etiquette before or during the fair.

The next section is one of the most useful sections of the whole app. It is the Districts and Organizations list.

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This section lists off every single District and Organization that will be attending the fair. You can click on any organization’s name and it will bring you to a page that has some general info about them. It lists their address, website, contact, phone number, and email. It also specifies which type of positions they are looking for, and if the District will be performing interviews that day. This is very important because at this fair there is a large number of employers who will be interviewing on site.

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Another great feature of the app is that you can search for any District or Organization and add them to your To-Do list. You can access these in the “Districts/Organizations I Like” section on the home page. This could be helpful for all students because it can help them remember who they all wanted to talk to at the fair. Once you talk to an employer you can check them off your list. This is another great section of the app because it can help the student prepare for who they want to talk to and connect with.

The next section of the app is the Job Fair Map. This section can be very useful for students. Here you can see where employers are positioned in the venue, so you can strategically plan your day out and have an idea of who you want to talk to and where they are positioned. This way students are not aimlessly wandering around looking for a certain employer.

The next section is the Job Fair Schedule. This section breaks down the times and dates for when everything will be taking place. It says when the doors open to students, when interviews are conducted, and when the halls are closed. After this, there is the “Find Your Career Office” section. This section is very helpful because it can help any student find out how to access their own Career Office at their school. It lists off all of the Schools that will be able to attend the fair, and you have the option of clicking on any of the schools. Once you click on a school name it gives you basic information on your career office such as the address, phone number, email address, and primary contact.

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The next section on the list is the Job Fair Homepage. This section brings you to the Minnesota Education Job Fair website where you can find additional info on the fair and you can access things such as Frequently Asked Questions and other information about the fair. The app also has sections on transportation options and nearby restaurants to make your experience enjoyable and easy to navigate. The app also has a section for notes, which can be very useful for students. An example would be if a student had a particular organization in mind and he or she planned on meeting with that employer. The student could use the notes section to prepare a few questions for the employer to make them look prepared and professional. You wouldn’t want to pull out your phone to access the questions during the interview or anything like that, but before you talk to the employer it can be helpful to read over your questions to ensure that you remember them.

Overall, this app has many features that are very helpful to any student planning on attending the education job fair. It can help you prepare, it can help you present yourself as well as possible at the fair, and it can help you do the right things when following up with a company. This app is essential for anyone attending the job fair because it has everything you would ever need to know about the organizations and the fair in general. I highly recommend this app and the University of Minnesota app for anyone interested in attending a job fair soon.

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