More than 3,000 young job seekers from all over the country handed out resumes, and net­worked and inter­viewed with more than 200 employers at Northeastern’s regional career fair last week.

The fair, held on October 8, is one of two annual events spon­sored by the career ser­vices office. It’s a pop­ular venue for stu­dents seeking a post-​​graduation job as well as for employers, who view the university’s stu­dents as high-​​level candidates.

Northeastern’s co-​​op pro­gram gives stu­dents a leg up on their peers when it comes to landing a job, says Eliz­a­beth Kane, a campus recruiter for insur­ance com­pany Lib­erty Mutual.

Because of the co-​​op pro­gram, North­eastern stu­dents come in with past expe­ri­ences that really help in the work­place,” she says. “They are hard­working, driven and very career-​​focused.”

Nicole Lapidus, a talent acqui­si­tion spe­cialist for the mer­chan­dise divi­sion of retailer TJX, echoes Kane. “The expe­ri­ence North­eastern stu­dents gain in the class­room and on co-​​op is invalu­able for our com­pany,” she says.

Lapidus, who before the fair said she expected to speak with more than 50 stu­dents inter­ested in working as allo­ca­tion ana­lysts, sin­gles out North­eastern busi­ness stu­dents for their strong ana­lyt­ical skills and time spent working in teams.

Our com­pany is very col­lab­o­ra­tive,” she says. “We’re looking for stu­dents who are willing to take risks and make deci­sions, and the group exer­cises North­eastern stu­dents do in the busi­ness school enable them to run a business.”

Gen­eral Elec­tric sent five recruiters to help hun­dreds of stu­dents get a better feel for the tech­nology and ser­vices con­glom­erate. Jonathan Salt, a pro­gram man­ager in the company’s global engi­neering group, says GE show­cases its job open­ings at North­eastern career fairs because that’s where the talent is.

North­eastern stu­dents are hands-​​on and real-​​world,” he says. “They come in ready to work and ready to be part of what we’re doing.”

Mark Ome­toruwa, a junior studying eco­nomics, attended the fair to gather career infor­ma­tion, exchange busi­ness cards and seek out co-​​op oppor­tu­ni­ties. He reports he was most eager to chat with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Fidelity Invest­ments, financial-​​news provider Bloomberg and EF Edu­ca­tion, which spe­cial­izes in international-​​study programs.

I’m trying to estab­lish con­nec­tions for now and for the future,” he says. “It blows my mind that Bloomberg is here. I’ve always wanted to work for them.”

He credits his courses in eco­nomics for preparing him for a fast-​​track career. “We take courses that we can apply to our work with com­pa­nies,” Ome­toruwa says. “Now that the whole economy is going abuzz, econ­o­mists are the kind of people needed.”

For Katie Guffin, a senior mar­keting and psy­chology major, the career fair was a simple way to snare face-​​to-​​face meet­ings with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Royal Philips Elec­tronics and retailer Aber­crombie & Fitch, two com­pa­nies she’s tar­geting for a job after graduation.

It’s great that North­eastern puts on an event like this,” she says. “It makes it so easy to net­work with com­pa­nies and meet recruiters.”

Guffin, who has com­pleted co-​​ops at EF Edu­ca­tion, Sta­ples and an orphanage in Costa Rica, says Northeastern’s approach to inte­grating classes with real-​​world expe­ri­ence has gotten her ready for the working world.

The pro­fes­sional expe­ri­ence makes me feel so much more pre­pared than my friends who didn’t grad­uate with that expe­ri­ence,” she says.

Although cut­backs prompted by the reces­sion meant that the number of com­pa­nies reg­is­tered at the career fair was fewer than last year’s, North­eastern still ranks as one of the largest fairs in New Eng­land, says Maria Stein, director of career services.

The economy is still hurting, and we’re con­tin­u­ally hearing about high unem­ploy­ment rates,” she says. “Even so, we were pleased with the turnout this time around.”