Seminars give job seekers tools
By CHRISTINE MORGAN ARCENEAUX
HAMMOND — Holly Bryd, of Baton Rouge, took her seat in an already crowded classroom in Garrett Hall.
The senior, who is majoring in family studies, said she hoped to gain pointers during the professional presence and etiquette seminar presented by Southeastern Louisiana University that would help her ace an upcoming interview in Baltimore.
The two seminars — Sept. 14 and Thursday, were held in preparation for SLU’s annual Career Fair 2011 on Wednesday presented by Career Services.
Southeastern Louisiana University students and alumni were invited to participate in the events, which taught those attending how to more effectively interact with employers, dress in acceptable attire, and better prepare one’s time before, during and after Career Fair 2011, said Ken Ridgedell, director of Career Services.
Bryd said she planned to use the seminar Thursday to learn the right way to answer interview questions.
“I wanted to know the do’s and don’ts of interviews,” Bryd said.
Before Thursday’s seminar began, Tabitha James, a junior majoring in management, said she has held many jobs, and interviewed for several positions, but wanted to continue her “education process” by attending the seminar.
“I may have bad information, or things may have changed,” James said about the tips for completing a successful interview.
“I have something to share with you that I ensure will impact your life both professionally and personally,” College of Business instructor and speaker Anna Bass told the standing-room-only crowd.
“I will be giving you a competitive advantage,” Bass said. “You need something to set you apart.”
As she talked to students and alumni, Bass stressed the importance of “professional presence.”
“It’s the core,” Bass said. “It’s the heart.”
“Professional presence includes self-confidence, integrity, self-control, knowledge, empathy and appreciation of others and yourself,” she said.
In addition to learning about professional presence, attendees learned how to make a positive first impression, from how to give a handshake to what clothes to wear for a job interview.
“People believe what they see first,” Bass said. “Don’t put up a roadblock.”
Bass also reviewed strategies for effective introductions, communication skills, business dining etiquette and public speaking as participants — many awaiting Career Fair 2011 — took notes.
“I’m trying to make it as painless as possible,” Bryd said of her interview and her reason for attending the seminar.