Take Your Future into Your Hands

By Jenny Bront

 

To some students, college seems to last forever, but for many it ends sooner. You might want to start thinking about your future now, and the Employment Expo offers a way to start.

If you’ve been accepted into college, you may have just taken the first few steps in building up the rest of your life. The Career Development Center aims to provide students with the tools they need to succeed during and after their years at ESU.

The Employment Expo, one of many resources offered by Career development, allows students to hone their professional skills and connect with potential employers as well.

Career Development also assists with resumes and cover letters, interviewing, networking, social media branding, career and graduate school searching.

According to Career Development, the Employment Expo is great way to connect with local employers of various areas, such as: retail and wholesale, non-profit and social services, computer technology, family, youth and children, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, biotech, pharmaceuticals, sports and recreation, hotel, restaurant, hospitality, food services, human services, communications and media, business services, marketing, leisure and travel, criminal justice, finance, food and beverage, environment, natural resources, government and public administration, law enforcement and security, automotive, transportation, chemicals, and waste management.

Career Development offers some suggestions for impressing potential employers, including the following considerations to make before the first interview:

First, develop and memorize your “Elevator Speech.”  This is a 30 second introduction and career overview that should cover these four items: (1) The kind of work you do, (2) the number of years of experience you have and in what industry, (3) some of your areas of expertise and/or key skills, and (4) what you hope to find in your next job.

Many recruiters ask prospects about the type of work he or she does. Having your answer ready and practiced can help you stand.

Second, do your research.  Look at a list of participants in the expo and pick out the ones you would be interested in talking to.  You can find the list of participating employers on Warrior Careers under the events tab, Career Fairs.

Look at their websites, at current open positions, and reach these companies early, when both of you are still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  Ask many questions, be confident and let your objectives be known, collect business cards, take notes, and don’t forget to follow-up with a thank-you letter within 24 hours to each employer you talked to and the ones you may have missed. Remember to send your resume out again just in case.

Copies of your resume—printed on high-quality resume paper— are expected, and extra copies will help you even more.  To keep with the program, dress professionally and remember to practice proper professional etiquette.

During past Expos, some students landed jobs right on the spot, or at least set up interviews.

Director of the Career Development Center Daria Wielebinski says, “You can make a great first impression, and recruiters will contact you.”

Opportunities showcased at the expo range from internship opportunities to part-time or full-time paid positions.

The event also features a professional photo shoot from 1-2 p.m. where students can obtain free headshots for their LinkedIn accounts.

To further facilitate the professional dress code, students have the opportunity to drop off their professional clothes at the Career Development Center to avoid walking around in hot and heavy suits during class time.

So, why should you care about this Expo?

If you’re a freshman, you might think that you have all the time in the world, but even a freshman can start practicing their job-hunting skills early.  You can learn about some opportunities and discover what works and what doesn’t when talking to employers.

Sophomores can start building a network and develop some contacts in their fields; there’s no penalty for starting too early.  Juniors can discover internship opportunities and continue building on the skills they have developed. Seniors can utilize a chance to build on their connections and potentially secure an interview for full time employment.

This opportunity could potentially provide an invaluable resource for students interested in preparing for their future. This year, 80 employers are attending, which could mean 80 possible employment opportunities for you.

Daria also emphasizes the importance of this event, remarking on why many attend college in the first place: “The average job search takes about 6 months. The purpose of college is to prepare for the future. Networking should begin now. Developing relationships, professionalism, and looking for internships will help lay the foundation for your career.”

Whether you have many semesters left or none at all, you can take steps to make yourself a better candidate for your next interview.

Event coordinators ask you to please share any successes you may have at the expo, so that others may hear them as well. A form for submission can be found on the Career Development website.

To reiterate, the event is occurring today from 1-4 p.m. in the Keystone Room. You can visit the Career Development Center on the second floor of the University Center for any of your employment questions.  Career Development also offers future networking and employment opportunities through both their newsletter and Warrior Careers app.

 

Email Jenny at:

jbront@live.esu.edu

 

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