BizTime Event Focuses On Job and Career Preparation

Marissa Bland, Director of Career Development & Internships

By Will Norris – Marissa Bland hosted the Jewell BizTime session held on Monday, September 17th in the IDEA X-Change. Accompanied by co-host Carson Hobby, senior football player at Jewell, she spoke at the Job Hunting Session on tips for career searching and creating a professional online presence. Her insight is extremely valuable for graduating seniors and rising juniors who are in search of a job upon graduation.

With a room of about 30-35 people, Carson opened up the session by welcoming everyone and introducing Marissa as the guest speaker. Marissa received her degree at the University of Missouri and is currently the Director of Career Development and Internships here at Jewell. She has hosted a number of BizTime discussions and career development seminars at Jewell and continues to be a source for students to seek career advice.

First, Marissa focused on the importance of having a professional online presence and a clean social media presence when applying for a job. No matter the platform – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or YouTube – all need to be clean and reflect a candidate on a professional level. Social media profiles are one of the first resources employers use when hiring. Clean accounts and professional profiles also show employers the student’s character, discipline, and a level of professionalism that convinces them that candidate is good for the job. Marissa said that 70% of employers are checking candidates’ social media presence and 54% of employers do not hire candidates that have a negative or unprofessional presence on social media. In addition, 50% of employers do not continue the interview process if they cannot find someone on social media.

Next, Marissa provided tips with building your network and preparing an elevator pitch. Meeting more people and making lasting friendships can build trustworthy relationships that follow you throughout your career. Developing your own brand and creating opportunities for yourself will better your chances of finding a job and career you truly love. The elevator pitch is a short, 30-60 second speech someone can use to market themselves in a brief but effective way. In some ways this parallels the amount of time employers spend looking at a candidate’s resume and a lot are shorter than that. Everything about your approach to landing a job needs to be professional because you never know who is watching.

The last topic covered was interviewing skills and techniques. First, before an interview, candidates should always research the company and know the position they are applying for. This helps with answering questions about past experience and possible job responsibilities at the company, if hired. Dress style depends on the type of interview and candidates should dress accordingly. Furthermore, everything from the moment you step through the doors needs to be professional and polite. Solid eye contact, firm handshakes, and an enthusiastic attitude can go a long way for first impressions. After the interview, it is always acceptable to write a follow up email to show interest in the position. Not only is this polite, but it establishes strong communication skills as well.

Marissa finished the session with a reminder of opportunities at the Career Development Office and the resources her department provides students. This Job Hunting Session produced a large audience and reflected Jewell students’ eagerness to learn and challenge themselves with new opportunities.

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