Preparing students for job interviews and more

Richland students and members of the surrounding community can visit Career Services, located in El Paso Hall, Room E090, where resources, ranging from work study programs to job application skills, are available Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“The role of the Career Center is to prepare students professionally and connect students with employment opportunities,” said Kelly Speir, senior career planning specialist for Career Services. “We offer a variety of resources that are going to help the student acquire skills and abilities, including résumé writing, interview preparation skills and job search strategies.”

Career Services also extends opportunities into the community; not just limiting support to current students, but expanding to alumni and those living in the immediate area.

elly J. Speir is the career coach at Richland.

elly J. Speir is the career coach at Richland.

“Anybody and everybody is eligible to utilize the career center,” Speir said. “We have a large full-time staff that can help students. There is never an appointment needed.”

Those interested in using the services shouldn’t feel obligated to bring anything with them; however, students seeking assistance in specific areas might benefit from bringing their résumés along. Support systems have been set up so prospective employers can meet face to face with those seeking to advance their careers and improve their abilities to land the job that once may have seemed out of reach.

“During on-campus recruitment we actually have employers visit the campus here to actively speak to our students,” Speir said.

With Richland hosting job fairs twice a year, in the spring and fall, there are plenty of opportunities to gain the necessary skills when entering or re-entering the job market.

“In addition to connecting students with employment resources, we help students identify career pathways as well,” added Speir.

Choices 360 Career Assessment is a test available for people who aren’t certain of their direction and might need some encouragement along the way. The test makes it possible to narrow their options and gives feedback so that they can then use the tools to explore the job marketplace.

Enrolled students who need immediate employment in the form of a part-time job can also benefit when they visit Career Services.

“Many students don’t realize that Richland offers work-study opportunities,” Speir said. “This is part-time employment on campus. It’s up to 19 and a half hours per week at $11.54 an hour.”

Even mock interviews can be set up for those students who feel anxious about job interviews. Students who have benefitted the most from these programs agree that preparation for what’s ahead is the key to their success. Many are eager to come back and share their experiences with Speir.

“I’ve had a lot of great feedback from students upon completion of their mock interviews,” Speir said. “I can definitively tell you firsthand that it works and that students find success.”