CSM brings employers, potential employees together
Annual tri- county job fair hosts over 50 businesses
The College of Southern Maryland La Plata campus played host to more than 50 public and private sector employers, in fields ranging from information technology, to health care to finance, and hundreds of potential job seekers at its Tri-County Job and Career Fair, held Tuesday.
Chloe Hiland, career counselor, said 60 companies turned out for the annual event.
“It’s nice to have one day when job seekers and employers can connect,” Hiland said. “We have lots of different industries for job seekers to choose from.”
The event was open to current college students, alumni and members of the community, Hiland said.
This year, the job fair also featured “Ready Room” preparation for job seekers, Hiland said. The “Ready Room” stations began three weeks prior, and continued to the day of the job fair.
Students could receive assistance developing their “elevator speech,” what they would say to a potential employer about why they are the right fit for the job.
Tyshana Harley, a communications student at CSM’s Leonardtown campus said she expects to graduate next year, but wanted to get in practice now at marketing herself for potential employers.
“Today I’m hoping to gain a better understanding when it comes to find- ing a job,” Harley said. “So far it’s been very helpful. These are skills that I don’t have, so I’m getting the skills I need to be the best candidate I can be.”
Another Ready Room station offered assistance with dress and personal grooming.
“That’s part of your first impression, looking professional. What we tell students who may be on a limited budget is dress the best that you can, plan ahead,” said Lisa Warner, associate director of career services at CSM. “Keep an eye out for sales, visit thrift stores, you can always get a tie for a couple dollars. It doesn’t have to break the bank.”
Job seekers could also consult career staff on their resume or take part in mock interviews. The computer lab was open so job seekers could make last-minute chang- es to their resumes or research potential employers, Warner said.
The college also offered free professional photos and tips for sprucing up profiles on the LinkedIn website.
“We think that doing these things ahead of the job fair, and even on the day of, helps to keep job seekers positive and they feel more prepared going into the job fair,” Hiland said.
On the job floor, employers set up displays highlighting their business, spoke with potential job seekers, and took resumes.
Connie Stommel, a broker for EXIT 1 Stop Realty, said they are looking for individuals interested in real estate.
“We’re looking to build our business in the Southern Maryland area, and we’re looking for people who are interested in careers as realtors,” Stommel said. “A lot of people don’t think of it as a career, but it truly is a profession, not just a part-time job.”
Det. Sgt. T.L. Miner said this was the first year the Charles County Sheriff’s Office had taken part in the job fair.
Miner said he was hoping to interest potential applicants in a career in law enforcement.
“If you want to help people, this is the job for it,” Miner said.
Chinwe Madu is a human resources recruiter for Compass Inc., a nonprofit supporting individuals with developmental disabilities in Prince George’s, Charles, Montgomery and Howard counties. She said it was their first time at the job fair, and they were looking for residential counselors.
Asked if she had any advice for job candidates, Madu said, “Find something you have a passion for.”
Tara Smith, an accounting major from Waldorf, said she currently has a job but attended the job fair to research future prospects.
“It never hurts to look,” Smith said.
Hiland advised students to follow up with the Career Services Office.
“If they find that they need additional assistance with resume writing or job searching, especially those students preparing to graduate from college, we think it is important for them to follow up with us after the job fair and see if there is anything we can do to help them,” Hiland said.
Accounting major Tara Smith speaks with Compass Inc. representatives Chinwe Madu, human resources recruiter, and Melissa Scholfield, assistant director of human resources, during CSM’s Tri-County Job and Career Fair April 5.
The College of Southern Maryland held its annual Tri-County Job and Career Fair April 5.
Kayla Carlyle, College of Southern Maryland La Plata Campus Student Association secretary, looks over the “elevator speech” of communications student Tyshana Harley during CSM’s Tri-County Job and Career Fair April 5.