CSM brings em­ploy­ers, po­ten­tial em­ploy­ees to­gether

An­nual tri- county job fair hosts over 50 busi­nesses

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @jamieacindynews

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.

STAFF PHO­TOS BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU

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.

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