Posted April 18, 2012

Career Center workshops help students jumpstart careers

Last week, more than a dozen seniors attended the Job Search Strategies Workshop offered by the Temple Career Center. Led by Director Rachel Brown and Associate Director Linda Lawton, the forum took students through the ins and outs of the job search process. The event is part of an ongoing series of workshops designed by the Career Center to help graduating Temple students find jobs.

At the workshop, students learned how to properly word and structure a resume and how to dress for interviews. They also received tips on networking and successful strategies for self-promotion.

“When you’re networking, it’s in the moment,” said Lawton. “Networking doesn’t have to be an official event; treat every interaction as a potential networking opportunity.”

Brown, Lawton and other presenters also stressed the importance of keeping an open mind, emphasizing that students should be willing to accept a position that would allow them to get their foot in the door while keeping their interests and goals in sight.

“After I graduate, I won’t really have a preference,” said Biology major Dalal Faiq. “There are so few jobs out there right now, and even if you have a degree you’re still not guaranteed anything.”

To address such concerns, workshop facilitators focused on preparation. “Think on your feet,” said Kathy Francis of the College of Education. “You have to be able to turn your weaknesses into strengths.”

In order to simulate an actual job interview, students were blasted with a litany of unorthodox interview questions they might encounter from potential employers, including quirky inquiries such as “When did you get your last haircut?” and “What is your favorite superhero?”

But by far, the biggest concern raised by the students in attendance was the resume.

“A resume is a living, breathing document,” Lawton said. “It is something that you have to constantly update and revise.” And it’s important to keep in mind that sometimes less is more, she added.

“Not all employers are looking for large and robust resumes,” said Brown, “Some jobs look for continuity and quality over quantity.”

Although her plans following graduation are somewhat up in the air, Faiq said that the workshop was exactly the kickstart she needed.

“I really think it gave me some tools I’ll be using in the future,” she said.