Career Expo attracts students and the community

Cynthia H. Stringer presents “communicating your skills to employers via resumes and social media” career talk during the 15th annual Career Expo in Bertolini Student Center April 22.

Catherine Ramirez/ Oak Leaf

Cynthia H. Stringer presents “communicating your skills to employers via resumes and social media” career talk during the 15th annual Career Expo in Bertolini Student Center April 22.

Catherine Ramirez, Staff Writer

With more than 1,000 attendees and 53 booths, the annual Santa Rosa Junior College Career Development Services Career Expo attracted a lot of attention from both SRJC students and the community April 22 at the Bertolini Student Center on the Santa Rosa campus.

“Students have the opportunity to practice their introduction pieces with professionals,” said SRJC Career Advisor Jill Mead. “They get experience and they learn the different requirements for different places in the work world.”

With booths from businesses like Kaiser Permanente, Exchange Bank and UPS, attendees could interact with employers and learn about jobs, internships and volunteer positions.

Catholic Charities, for example, offer volunteer experience through the organization.

“We’re looking for people who have a passion for working with the community and want to give back,” said Catholic Charities employee Kim Young.

Along with the booths, the expo featured a new workshop and career talk section where career development professionals gave a short presentation every hour about different, career-related topics, such as: “crucial skills that employers desire,” “dressing for interviews” and “communicating your skills to employers via resumes and social media.”

SRJC student Garrett Hughes, 22, attended one of the career talks presented by an Amy’s Kitchen senior recruiter about some of the non-verbal cues hiring managers notice with possible hirees.

“It was a helpful experience. I learned that I can do a lot better at a job interview,” Hughes said. “It reminded me to always carry a positive body language. It’s important.”

However, students were not the only ones who benefitted from the event.

A recently unemployed local came to the expo to learn more about other careers after deciding to make a career change. “It’s nice to see a human face instead of the typical online stuff when job searching,” said 50-year-old Diane. “It’s been very frustrating to get any response from online applications.”

Employers also had the opportunity to interact with possible employees.

“It’s a great way to connect with students here and with the community,” Young said. “Students are looking for experience and we want to help with that.”