The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Employers offer advice to job-seeking students during SE fair

By Charity Montieth/se news editor

   Today’s job market is fierce for college students, so at a recent job fair on SE Campus, students were lined up at each of the approximately 50 tables staffed by prospective employers.
   “ At the rate we have been going, I would imagine that we’ll speak to between 100 and 200 students today,” Beverly Baker, a human resource recruiter for UPS, said.
   In 2005, the unemployment rate for job-seeking college students averaged around 15 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
   Many students feel lucky to have a job, even if it is not their dream job.
   “ It’s really tough,” Veronica Guerrero, South student, said. “There’s a lot of competition out there.”
   Guerrero, a full-time student, also cites flexibility as a major problem.
   “ Sometimes I feel like I have to choose between work or school because a lot of employers are not willing to work with [student] schedules,” she said.
   However, Baker says it is not the employers but the students who often lack flexibility.
   “ Quite often, college students are not willing to adjust their schedules. In a competitive market, employers are going to hire the candidate who can work the available hours,” she said.
   Baker also says college students tend to have unusually high expectations about the earnings they should receive.
   “ Sometimes the best approach is to start at the bottom and work your way up,” she said.   “Look for employers you can grow with.”
   Once students have examined their expectations from prospective employers, it is time to prepare for the interview process.
   Being prepared for the interview was the most commonly cited piece of advice from the recruiters at the job fair.
   Stephaney MacLeod, a human resources manager for American Airlines, visited the SE Campus to interview and counsel students applying for jobs.
   “ The key to a successful interview is for prospective candidates to sell themselves as an entire package,” she said.
   Job candidates should dress and speak professionally and never forget to maintain good eye contact and a smile, MacLeod said.
   “ Even if you got a traffic ticket on the way, put everything to the side. You only get one chance to make a first impression,” she said.
   Cory Dacy, operations manager for Six Flags Over Texas, agrees with MacLeod that attitude is a key factor to a successful interview.
   “ When [candidates] are answering questions, they need to be upbeat,” he said.
   It is understood that some people are naturally shy, but they should not let their shyness get in the way of speaking up and answering questions, Dacy said.
   Dacy also said most candidates who interview successfully come in prepared. With a little research, candidates can find out not only what the company offers, but what the company is looking for.
   “ Ask yourself: ‘Am I really suited for this job?’ Expectations can vary from company to company,” he said.
   For example, Six Flags recruiters look for fun-loving and outgoing people, but American Airlines recruiters look for more conservative, professional types.
   “ You want to find something that is a good match for you,” MacLeod said. “Do something you will be happy with. After all, you will probably be spending eight hours of your day at work.”
   After candidates research prospective employers, they should create five questions to take to interviews, MacLeod said.
   “ This gives me the impression that the candidate really cares about their employment, and that they are willing to be pro-active in their careers,” she said.

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