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Career Services lends a helping hand in getting hired

By Ana Jean Healy
On October 2, 2012

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"College goes by pretty quickly," said Stephen Cole, the executive director of Career Services. "All of a sudden you come in senior year and see the countdown clock in Donnelly Hall and the panic sets in as you think to yourself, 'What am I going to do?'"

To combat this, Marist's Center for Career Services is working with students to help them gain the professional edge that they need to standout in an increasingly competitive job market by providing major to career guidance, mock interviews, resume and cover letter assistance and career and interest assessments, among other things.

"We want to help you seize your dream," Cole said. "The way we do this is by providing students with a series of strategies and a game plan."

Students seem to be taking advantage of these opportunities. On Sept. 19, over 200 students attended Career Services' Résumé Day, an event where students had the opportunity to have their résumé critiqued by professionals in the recruitment field.

The next event that Career Services is hosting is the Fall 2012 Career and Internship Fair, which will be held on Thursday, Oct. 4 in the McCann Center from 4-7 p.m. Over 50 companies will be in attendance looking to hire students for internship and career positions.

"Attending the career fair is a great way to build interpersonal skills," Cole said. "While there, you can talk to professional recruiters and gain contacts from professionals in your field of interest."

The Career and Internship Fair takes place once a semester and draws in companies from across the country.

"Last year's career fair was one of the most valuable events I've been to in my three years at Marist," said Daniel Scofield, a junior who is studying sports communication and journalism.  "Each representative I met with was extremely helpful and interested in my résumé. I've talked to a few of them a few times since and it's looking like I will have an internship already lined up for this summer."

Even if students are not necessarily looking for a specific job or internship, attending the career fair may help them gain more insight on how professional interviews are conducted and what the recruiting process will be like when the time comes for them to find a job. However, for those students who are looking to use the career fair as an opportunity to find an employer, career development professor Ellyn Enisman offered a few things for students to keep in mind.

"The recruiters who come to the career fair are looking for talented future hires," said Enisman, who is also the creator of the website "They are serious when they come, so students should come prepared."

Enisman has over 27 years of experience in interview coaching, career counseling and corporate recruiting.

She stresses that it is crucial for students to do their research before interviewing with any employer. Students who plan on attending the career fair should identify what employers they want to meet with and research what skills and experience they are looking for in a potential hire. From there, the student should think about his or her own skills and experience and come up with a 15-second "elevator pitch" that they can give to recruiters about themselves.

Once students have done the research, Enisman recommends they come to the career fair with a portfolio containing copies of their résumé, and if they are in a field that require them to show examples of their work, such as journalism, they should also bring some clippings of their writing.

"You should have three copies of your résumé for each employer you plan on meeting with," Enisman said.

As far as personal appearance is concerned, students should dress professionally but understated. Less is more, especially when it comes to make-up and jewelry for women.

"A good way to remember each employer you met with is to get their personal business card and write a note on the back of each one summarizing the meeting," Enisman said. "After the fair, make sure to send an email to each employer that you met, thanking them for their time."

Career Services is also offering services for students looking to pursue a graduate degree by hosting a Graduate School Forum on Wednesday, Oct. 24 from 3-6 p.m. in the Cabaret.

"It is a difficult employment season and it is going to stay difficult," Cole said. "We want to assist you to become successful in that environment because when students enter the professional world, we are behind them."

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