By Angela Davis

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The search for a full-time job can be a full-time job.

Monday the University of Minnesota gave its students a leg up on the competition by hosting a job and internship fair.

About 3,000 U of M students and recent alumni had a chance to meet with representatives of more than 350 employers.

The job fair comes at a time when Minnesota’s unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in many years, at just 3.1 percent.

It’s the largest student career fair in the state. And the companies who are here are hiring.

“Employers come to an event like this because they want to — they have openings, whether it’s internships or full time jobs they are trying to fill right now,” Paul Timmins with the University of Minnesota said.

Technology software company MatrixCare is looking for people who are skilled in computer science. Their recruiter says openings have been hard to fill because of the low unemployment rate.

“That’s really impacted us. It’s a very tight labor market right now. As we’re looking at applications come in, in some of our roles, the applications are low, just because there’s 30, 40 other opportunities,” Kate Stiner said.

Employers told us they look for majors that are relevant to the job openings. And strong communication skills are important too. They are also looking for leadership experience whether it’s in a club, a sport or a part-time job.

“What are these volunteer experiences that you’ve done? What are those things that you’ve taken charge of in class? Even with student projects, or class projects, how are you contributing to that,” Dayo Olateju with Cargill said.

Language skills will also help you stand out.

“I just talked to a guy who is from here but he’s got a — his degree’s in Chinese. That works really good with a global company because they can speak — because we work with China,” Lane Johnson with Medtronic said.

Students could get a professional photo taken for their Linked In profiles.

Biochemistry major Kea Anderson is graduating in May.

“It was really encouraging to hear that a lot of jobs are looking for, you know, right when you get out of college you can apply and they have these entry level positions waiting for you with a degree,” Anderson said. “So that is encouraging for sure.”

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