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Career Services supplies sessions and resources and job fairs virtually

2020-08-31-Career Services 1
Career Services is conducting its sessions online via Microsoft Teams or Zoom this semester. Edward Wai-Ming Lai, associate director of Career Services, can help students with resumes, practice interviews, career assessments, job search strategies, and more.

Last fall, the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Career Services partnered with JCPenney to help outfit students and recent alumni with appropriate interview attire through discounts from the local store. This semester, the JCPenney Suit-Up event will be held virtually.

"JCPenney agreed to conduct this sale online, which will allow more students to access it," said Lori Cleymans, Career Services specialist at UNG. "This time, the sale will happen over three days, giving students time to browse."

From Sept. 11-13, students and recent alumni can compile and purchase a business wardrobe at an affordable price. Last year, participants received an additional 30% discount on already marked-down items. A similar discount will be offered.

"Last year, one student purchased a shirt, jacket, pants, and tie all for $100," Cleymans said. "The parents asked, 'Did you ring that up right?' And that's the point of this event. Students can put together an outfit without it costing a fortune."

The JCPenney Suit-Up event is not the only experience Career Services will host online. Its sessions on resumes, practice interviews, career assessments, job search strategies, and more will be managed through Microsoft Teams or Zoom this semester.

"By doing these virtually, more students can attend," she said, explaining Career Services has physical offices on UNG's Dahlonega and Gainesville campuses. "Students don't have to drive to us."

She said the screen-sharing feature has also helped, too. Cleymans said she can communicate better with students as they review resumes, cover letters and webpage profiles together.

All group or one-on-one sessions help prepare students for the UNG All-Majors Business Career Fair. The annual event that connects students and employers will be from noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 24 via Handshake, which is the leading career site for college students. Handshake partners with more than 1,000 colleges and universities to help students find great jobs.

During the job fair, students may meet in groups with employers or schedule one-on-one appointments at specific times. To participate, students must register at and sign up for time slots with recruiters.

"Scheduling a session with an employer in advance gives students time to research the companies," Cleymans said. "Students can be memorable to the company representative by sharing how they can be an asset based on their skills."

Cleymans predicts more businesses will participate in the virtual job fair since they do not have to travel to specific locations. Therefore, students must stand out from the crowd.

"With a virtual job fair, a follow-up is key," she said. "We encourage our students to follow up with an email or phone call. This reminds the recruiter who they are."

She explained that using Career Services resources can help students secure internships or jobs. Cleymans warns students to be prepared for a challenging job search because of the struggling economy.

"The job search is taking longer, and students need to start their job search early," she said.

A full list of Career Services' coaching sessions are available online.

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