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First impression is key element to Feb. 10 winter job and career fair

By Kip Carlson

It’s raining or foggy or both. Or perhaps it’s freezing on a few mornings.

It’s January.

And it’s never too soon to be thinking about a summer job, or that position you’ll want to get after you graduate.

Many employers are already looking to hire for seasonal positions or for long-term jobs that could be filled this summer.

The 2015 Winter Term Job & Career Fair will be held from 9 a.m. until noon on Feb. in the Student Center on Chemeketa’s Salem Campus.

Whether you’re looking for a way to make money during the break from school, or angling to grab the first rung of the career ladder, attending the fair is one chance to get face-to-face time with employers who are looking to hire.

The key to successfully navigating a job and career fair is preparation.

Those who arrive on campus that morning and, on the spur of the moment, decide to visit a few booths hoping to attract an offer will often be disappointed. Meeting an employer at a fair means going through one of the single most important moments in the hiring process: making a first impression.

It’s easy to think of obvious things that will turn off employers: wearing pajamas, talking through your breakfast, not showering, asking how often you can take days off, not wanting to fill out an online application – it’s a long list.

But how do you approach the morning in a manner that not only doesn’t make you look silly but lifts you above other suitable candidates?

To get Chemeketa students and graduates ready for the winter term job fair, and for job-hunting in general, Chemeketa’s Career Services office will offer a workshop –“ Job Success: What to Say and How to Dress” – from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 27 in the Multicultural Center in Bldg. 2 on the Salem campus.

Free pizza and drinks will be served.

At “Job Success: What to Say and How to Dress,” Career Services staff and local employers will provide tips on how to make that good first impression when students meet an employer: how to introduce yourself, what to tell them, what questions to ask, what to wear, what to bring with you, how to follow up.

The workshop will include a fashion show with examples of appropriate attire, offering low-cost ideas and identifying resources.

Those who are unable to attend the session can prepare for the fair by visiting the Career Services office in Bldg. 2-115; it is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Appointments are recommended and can be made through ChemekNet; walk-ins may be seen depending on staff availability.

Career Services staff members are available year-round to help with resumes, cover letters, job applications, mock interviews, and job search strategies. Those who are looking for jobs can find available off-campus positions on Chemeketa CareerLink.

For more information, visit go.chemeketa.edu/careercenter.

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