Kaitlyn Coogan

Equinox Staff


On Wednesday, March 21 in the Mountain View Room, students learned how to properly prepare for the job fairs on March 22 and April 4.

“I took away a lot of useful information I had never really gotten before. I’ve gotten briefing about how to present yourself in front of professionals but never something this in-depth before,” junior Rebecca Roberts said.

These job fairs on March 22 were for the Safety and Occupational Health Applied Sciences and Education students. Each job fair had local companies and organizations looking to recruit students to fill positions after graduating. The Safety and Occupational Health Applied Sciences Job Fair was held in Centennial Hall from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Education Job Fair was held in Rhodes Hall from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and had 32 employees present for the 100 students that arrived with their resumes in hand.

During the workshop “Prepare for the Job Fair” on Wednesday, students learned what a proper resume looks like, what to know before they go, how to introduce themselves, how to close out, and what to wear. Kelly Graham, associate director of academic and career advising (ACA); Mary Pleasanton, employer coordinator and career adviser; Gloria Lodge, academic advisor and career advisor; and David Westover, Keene State College alumnus and business owner, all presented a portion of the workshop.

Graham spent a short time discussing what a resume should have and look like but emphasized to students that they should have a couple resumes on them when they go to the job fair because the employers will want to keep them.

Next, Graham talked about how to stand out during the short interviews with the employers at the job fair. Students should research the companies that will be at the job fair that they are interested in. Companies like it when a student can rely the company mission and goals and how that student can help those missions and goals.

Lodge told the students how to properly give a handshake.

Lodge also talked about the “30-second elevator pitch.” A student would have 30 seconds to tell the employers who they are, what accomplishments they have, how they are right for the position and then they should end with an open-ended question. Then when the interview is coming to an end, students should thank employers for their time and ask for a business card. Lodge also suggests students to have their own business cards with an email that isn’t claimed to the school. Business cards can be made on Vistaprint. Graham suggests getting a LinkedIn email address. LinkedIn is a business-related social networking site. Graham says it’s like a professional Facebook where it has the student’s resume and contact information on it.

Pleasanton discussed with the students how to make a first impression. Each business has a dress code and if a student really wants to impress the company he or she should follow the company’s dress code. Since however, this preparation workshop was for a job fair with multiple companies then students should follow a very formal dress code. Students, according to Pleasanton, should dress more conservative than they usually would because companies know that this is the best dressed they will ever see you. ACA also has a “dress for success” link on the keene.edu website. Pleasanton said a suit will always work for an interview and that the suit should also have neutral colors. She said that hair should be out the face and facial hair should be groomed unless there is a “no facial hair” dress code on the business website.

Pleasanton said students should also slow their speech and enunciate when they speak to the employers. Students should also say their number twice. Students should also not give their references away unless the employers ask.

Westover ended the presentation by saying that since he is an alumnus of KSC and the proud owner of a natural ice cream shop, he knows a few extra things the other three presenters did not mention. Westover told the students that they need to be competitive because these are the students’ careers waiting for them. He also said that the students should do mock interviews with friends and record them. After watching the recordings, students can see nervous traits they do, such as twirling their hair or wringing their hands. Students should also look like they are excited and enthusiastic about talking to the employers and a future job they want. Westover also says that the students should tell the employers they are a good fit for the position but they should also get used to being rejected. He also says that when closing out of the interview, students should ask how the hiring process works. Then close by saying, “Thank you for your time, I will call you next week.”

“Whether you’re a competitive person or not you need to bring your A-game to this whole process and be serious about it,” Westover said.


Kaitlyn Coogan can be contacted at kcoogan@keene-equinox.com.                  

Share and Enjoy !