Have you heard the saying: May you live in interesting times. It was claimed to be an old Chinese Curse now it appears the history of it is more current: 20th century, but the statement itself has value. It is safe to say we are currently living in “interesting times”. One of the most recent critical events with regards to jobs and careers has been the hiring freeze mandate. Something that has happened in the past and is part of our present reality. The hiring freeze started on the national level under the new administration and then moved into our state government. The good news is law enforcement is not affected by these freezes, which is encouraging for those of you in the criminal justice field.
What is important to look at as a future graduate is networking and making connections is more valuable than ever before. You want to know what opportunities are out there and who to talk to. This is where a career fair is your friend, if anything your best friend. Reach out to recruiters, attend career fairs, talk to them about the future of the company, find out who they are hiring and why.
Sul Ross has a new tradition with our career fairs. We now offer a spring and fall career fair. The spring is rich in school district attendance, since many of the schools are hiring for the fall. While the fall fair is an excellent opportunity for December graduates to make connections for their future.
A success at our Career Fair is the Best Dressed Contest. It was a strategy used by the career services department to reflect professionalism and emphasize appropriate student attire, we succeeded. Students started dressing better and the recruiters noticed. My first Career Fair as director at the university a couple of young ladies wore their pajamas to the event. In hindsight I should not have let them cross the threshold into the fair, but they did attend and recruiters commented, and not in a good way. Students are a reflection of the university, so it is natural that we want to shine and have our students reflect how wonderful Sul Ross is and the skills they have gained from the university.
As the Spring Career Fair is just days away here are some tips for your success:
- It is a good idea to have your resume available. Career Services is always happy to help you update it or assist you with creating one. You may not need it, but it is readily available if a recruiter asks for it.
- Take the time to introduce yourself to recruiters at companies that you are interested in. It helps to prepare you for interviewing. For all students it is a great opportunity to stretch outside your comfort zone.
- Go one step farther and shake the recruiter’s hand, they will remember you. Recruiters tell me about the students that stand out, it pleases them to have that kind of engagement.
- As the saying goes, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have”. Take the time to put on your tie, dress or pantsuit. It shows you care and you are taking the career fair seriously.
Sul Ross takes education one step further and incorporates the importance of the soft skills to our students. Communicate by shaking a recruiter’s hand, look them in the eye, and ask them the question, “what jobs does your company offer?” Now in a time of job freezes nationally and statewide, students need to take the time to meet with recruiters and let them know how great their skills are and what they can offer the company. Networking is the key and career fairs are an excellent opportunity to network with your potential future employer.
Please join us on Tuesday, April 4th from 10 am to 2:00 pm in the University Center on the second floor in the Espino Conference Center and meet with the recruiters.
Jan Rueb, Director of Career Services and Testing