Before local and regional employers descend on the University of North Georgia for annual job fairs on Oct. 15 and 22, the university's Career Services wants to prepare students and recent alumni with the tools for success to land an interview and job.
"At job fairs, it is the process of elimination," said Lori Cleymans, Career Services specialist. "Employers are looking for employees who check all of their boxes. They are looking for a well-written resume, answers to interview questions, questions about the company, and professional attire."
If an applicant does not meet these criteria, employers may discard the person's resume or not call them for an interview. But Career Services plans to help students with workshops and a special retail event to check all of the boxes to earn the interview and a job.
The first place to start is the resume. Cleymans said a resume and cover letter with spelling and grammar errors will put you at a disadvantage. Employers are looking for strong written communication skills, and that all starts with the resume.
"If there are errors in the resume, it shows a lack of attention to detail, regardless of how well you present yourself," she said.
Career Services staff can help students design a professional-looking resume that highlights a person's skills during resume writing workshops or one-on-one by appointment. One resume writing workshop is at noon Sept. 24 in meeting room 1 in the Student Center on UNG's Gainesville Campus. Students from the Dahlonega and Oconee campuses may schedule an appointment with their Career Services for one-on-one assistance.
To complement their resume, students and recent alumni should be prepared to answer standard interview questions and be ready to ask questions, too. Career Services can help students formulate answers to showcase their problem-solving skills by giving examples from their past jobs. Interview workshops will be on the Dahlonega, Gainesville and Oconee campuses in October.
UNG's Career Services has partnered with JCPenney for a Suit-Up event for students and recent alumni. The event will be 4-8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6, at the JCPenney in Lakeshore Mall in Gainesville.
Armed with their resumes and interview skills, job seekers must also dress for the job that they want. UNG's Career Services has partnered with a local clothing retailer to help students accomplish that. The inaugural JCPenney Suit-Up event, exclusively for UNG students and recent alumni from all five campuses, will be 4-8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6, at Lakeshore Mall, 150 Pearl Nix Parkway, in Gainesville, Georgia. Students and recent alumni will receive the "white-glove treatment" as the store brings in extra merchandise and sizes to help students find outfits for upcoming interviews. The shoe and jewelry departments will be staffed to help select complementary accessories, the salon will be open for consultations and appointments to create the ideal hairstyle.
"We are visual creatures and first impressions matter," Cleymans said. "And the key is having a polished and professional appearance."
Students and recent alumni may sign in at the event and receive an extra 30% discount coupon. Reward dollars will be available on the JCPenney Mobile app. Snacks will be provided as well.
For the event, South Hall Rotary will provide five students with $200 gift cards, said Jennifer Herring, limited-term special assistant to the vice president.
For more information about the workshops or JCPenney Suit-Up Event, contact Career Services.
UNG Career Services events:
Sept. 30: "Your Guide to Graduate School" workshop at noon in 332 Stewart Center
Oct. 30: The "Not-So-Scary" Interviewing Improv Table activity from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Hoag Patio
Sept. 24: Resume writing workshop at noon in meeting room 1 in the Student Center
Oct. 3: Questions & Cookies Interview Prep Game from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Student Center Commons
Oct. 8: Interview skills workshop at noon in meeting room 1 in the Student Center
Oct. 15: Fall Job Fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Robinson Ballroom in the Student Center
Nov. 6: Talking Leadership workshop from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in meeting room 1 of Student Center
Nov. 13: Diversity Career Mixer from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Robinson Ballroom in the Student Center
Oct. 7: "What do you value in a career?" workshop at noon in Room 318
Oct. 16: "Interview Preparation: How to Stay Cool in the Hot Seat" at noon in Room 318
Oct. 22: Fall Job Fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in room 522