Students shoot their shot with headshots and resumes

Jessica GuerrucciManaging Editor

Values, interests and skills – these, along with knowing how to make intentional connections, are the qualities Kelvin Rutledge said students need to understand about themselves when preparing to enter the workforce.

“Some individuals need an internship, some need a shadowing experience, some need a clinical rotation,” said Rutledge, director of Career and Professional Development.

“So, part of that is just knowing what option you need and, more importantly, how you get those connection points.”

On Sept. 25, three Southern organizations, the Multicultural Center, Career and Professional Development and University Access Programs coordinated
with the National Association of Health Services Executives to invite students to “Shoot Your Shot,” an event that provided tools to prepare students for the workforce.

The event included opportunities for students to get critiques on their resumes, participate in mock interviews, network with local organizations and get a professional headshot.

Fred Boateng, president of the National Association of Health Services Executives Connecticut Chapter, said one of the most important factors in getting a job is a good headshot.

“If an employer is looking at you as a candidate – probably your LinkedIn, or your Facebook, or your Instagram – whatever social media they want
to approach,” said Boateng. “It kind of gives them a depiction of who you are.”

According to a survey done by CareerBuilder, 70 percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates during the hiring process. Boateng said headshots are the first thing employers see and are often a first impression of a candidate for a job.

Sara Hungerford, a graduate student studying social work, said both the headshot and resume critiques are what drew her into the event.

“That seemed really appealing to me, because for the National Association of Social Workers, I have to do a profile picture for that and for LinkedIn, and I wanted it to look nice,” said Hungerford.

Between local organizations such as Yale New Haven Health, Hartford Healthcare and LBD Firm attending, Hungerford said she did not expect to see so many employers at the event.

“I was glad to see that there’s a few hospital providers here,” said Hungerford. “So, that could be really beneficial. I could potentially network [and get] advice on how to gear my resume specifically toward a certain field.”

Brittany Dzwonchyk, a graduate student studying social work, said she too came to event for the headshot and resume critiques. She said she never had her professional resume looked at before, so she wanted to know what sections she could add to and what to omit.

While there are events and career fairs on campus, Dzwonchyk said she sees they tend to be directed towards undergraduate students, so she was appreciative that this one was more geared towards her interests. “I think this is great,” said Dzwonchyk.

“I think this is exactly what graduate students need, to be honest, because you have professional profiles – you’ve got LinkedIn, you’ve got different profiles with different organizations – and it’s important to have something professional to present yourself as.”

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