Blue Ridge Community College Career Services is excited to bring 40 employers with job vacancies they need to fill to campus on Thursday, April 9, 2015 for the annual Career Expo. Students and the general public are invited to the Plecker Center from noon to 4 p.m. that day. According to Latoya Garrison, assistant coordinator of Career Services, attendees should come “dressed for success,” résumés in hand, and ready to interview and complete applications.
“Appearance is very important, and students should make a good, lasting first impression with employers by dressing appropriately, showing forth their confidence, and being prepared for the interview,” says Garrison.
Garrison notes that Blue Ridge has a great reputation with local employers in supplying their workforce needs with graduates who have the technical knowledge and “soft skills” they desire. “Employers want individuals with good communication skills, demonstrated time management and team work abilities, and those who know the importance of being punctual.”
The Alpha Beta Gamma Business Honor Society is assisting Career Services in coordinating this year’s event. The student group, like the rest of the community college population, consists of younger students and older students who may be attending school to switch careers. Garrison explains that each group faces unique challenges in the job search process. Younger students may not have as much job experience to include on a résumé, while career switchers may feel daunted by the process.
“Younger students need to think about the skills they possess,” she says. “They need to ask themselves, ‘What problems did I solve? What were my leadership roles?’ For the career switchers or older job hunters, it’s important to keep a positive attitude and remain persistent.”
While paid employment is always sought after, Garrison believes students should not overlook the benefits of internship opportunities to gain valuable experience. “Internships are also important because students are able to identify the skills they lack or need to develop,” Garrison notes. “They help students network with employers to get an edge over other job seekers.”
Students are encouraged to visit the Career Services office in the Houff Student Center anytime, or call (540) 453-2523 for assistance.