Students and alumni are encouraged to be career ready this fall

Director of Career Services Ken Ridgedell encouraged students to be career ready by polishing resumés, practicing and dressing professionally.
Zachary Araki/The Lion’s Roar

Students and alumni are encouraged to be career ready by networking and finding an internship or job position at Career Fair or Part-Time Job Fair. 

Part-Time Job Fair is scheduled for Aug. 31, and Career Fair for Sept. 21. The Office of Career Services organizes both events. Part-Time Job Fair helps students looking for work in the area. Career Fair is a more formal event that requires attendees to wear business casual. 

“If you’re a junior, senior or graduate student, you know when you graduate, you’re going to need to have gained employment,” said Director of Career Services Ken Ridgedell. “Even if you think you’re gonna graduate and your plan is to pursue a graduate degree, a higher-level degree, the rule of thumb is to always think about your options and have a backup plan because not everything we plan to do is what really happens. I think it’s always important to keep your options open and to think about other possibilities.”

Ridgedell suggested students polish their resumes, present themselves well by considering their wardrobe, and practice face-to-face interactions. 

“The recruiter’s are going to really see how you approach them, your communication skills,” said Ridgedell. “They’re looking to see are you making eye contact. They’re looking to see do you respect them by calling them by their salutation, Mr. or Ms., not just Sam. The employers sometimes have name badges. It may say Sam Wilson. ‘Hey, Sam.’ No, you would say, ‘Mr. Sam, how are you?’ Just paying attention to those little things are part of what’s adding up to an evaluation of that student and their capabilities.”

Although Career Fair is directed more towards future employment, Part-Time Job Fair responds to a more immediate need. 

“Part-Time Job Fair is really set up to offer students that are coming back from the summer looking for jobs in the region and hoping that they can find employment,” said Ridgedell. “Many of our students do have to work part time. Many of our students already have part-time jobs, but many of them are coming back from say wherever they live for the summer. They’re coming back to live in this region, and so every time they do that, it’s like trying to start over looking for a part-time job. We saw a need for that.”

Career Services offers resources to help students prepare for Career Fair such as reviewing and critiquing student resumes. 

“If you don’t have a resume at all, in LionHire we have a build your resume system,” said Career and Employment Specialist Blake Thomas. “You can literally put in your information, and it’ll spit out a resume for you. We can further from that critique and give you feedback and again help you polish that resume.”

Students and alumni are urged to be resourceful and not to let cost bar them from attending. For example, they can find something affordable that meets the business casual requirement. 

“Some other options available to students, believe it or not, are Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul and Salvation Army,” said Ridgedell. “Those three have, believe it or not, some decent either business casual or dress options. In those three locations, you can find something. When I hear students say, ‘I have nothing. I don’t have anything but shorts and T-shirts,’ there’s other options out there. You can get a full suit if you find your size and it’s appropriate. You can do that for $20, $25. You can do business casual.”