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Fit for Hire, Ready for Work

As students prepare for summer internships and job offers after graduation, Central Michigan University’s Career Development Center is equipping them with tools and resources to improve their career searches.

The new program, created by Abigail Farabaugh, a graduate assistant in the Career Development Center, includes four workshops covering resumes and cover letters, networking, professional branding, and interviewing.

Farabaugh said she developed Fit for Hire as a way to expand on the advice students receive in their one-on-one appointments with Career Development Center staff. The program is available to students of all majors and academic standings and is being offered virtually this semester.

Jenna Mueller, a sophomore and first-year participant, joined the Fit for Hire program to prepare for her summer internship hunt. Mueller said Farabaugh gave her advice during the session that made her think differently about the interview process.

“She gave me interviewing tips, mentioning that the second you sit down in the waiting room, you’re already being judged,” said Mueller. “The biggest takeaway I got from the entire workshop was to be as professional as I can be now, because it will be a habit I maintain well beyond college.

Using LinkedIn and Handshake

For those who are unsure where to begin searching for a job or internship, Farabaugh said the third Fit For Hire session focuses on online platforms such as Handshake and LinkedIn.

“One of the main points I make is to set up LinkedIn profiles using the app like you would with social media,” said Farabaugh. “This way, the algorithms know what you’re searching for, and it almost does the work for you.”

Farabaugh said some students also find internships or jobs through Handshake. Used nationally by many universities, Handshake allows employers to post job opportunities for recent graduates. “A lot of students are not aware of the opportunities posted on Handshake that may not be on LinkedIn or Indeed.”

Fit for Hire is fit for all

“Fit for Hire benefits all students. There is no specific demographic that we’re serving,” Farabaugh said. “We’re always trying to get students in as early as possible since our goal is to ensure they are ready for a job by the time they graduate. It is important for students to make time to see us just like they do with their advisors.”

By the end of the program, participants will have completed a total of 16 activities and received a certificate of completion from the Career Development Center.

Following this semester’s final session, recordings will be available on Blackboard, allowing students to participate at their own pace.

March sessions will be held every Thursday, excluding spring break, from 11 a.m.-noon via Webex. Students can register for future Fit for Hire sessions through Handshake.