Badly beaten as the economy might be, there are still college students ready to step into the world and find careers. Over the next week there are several free opportunities for them to connect with businesses, find jobs, and zero in on what they would like to pursue once the mortar board comes off.

On Thursday, October 8, at 11 a.m. Burlington County College will present the “Workforce Development Forum” at the college’s Mt. Laurel campus on Route 38 at I-295.

The forum aims to help residents and students understand which career choices are in demand and assisting them with job seeking strategies in some of the most in-demand fields, such as allied health, logistics, engineering, medical coding, and retail management. Visit www.bcc.edu, or call 609-877-4520, ext. 3020.

Professors and industry experts will provide career workshops on a walk-in basis from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The workshops will entail creating cover letters and resumes and will allow attendees to take a free online skills assessment to help determine potential majors or career choices.

On Friday, October 9, Princeton University will host its annual day-long science and technology job fair beginning at 10:30 a.m. in Dillon Gym. Visit www.princeton. edu/career for more information.

The fair offers students at all levels a chance to meet small and large employers; faculty members will inform those pursuing degrees in the natural and applied sciences and engineering of career opportunities.

Students who will receive degrees in the humanities and social sciences and who have strong quantitative and analytical skills will also find that a number of the companies attending have opportunities of interest.

The university’s office of career services recommends attendees take steps to prepare: develop and practice a one-minute “elevator” pitch about themselves, identify some employers of interest, and do some online research about those companies in order to develop a few questions. Good questions to consider include what types of entry-level positions are available, training programs, and the skills and experiences companies seek.

The office also recommends attendees dress in business casual, with pressed suits and shirts and polished shoes. Avoid heavy colognes and perfumes, large backpacks, and chewing gum.

Also on October 9 Rutgers will host its “Math & Actuarial Career Day” at the Busch Campus Center in Piscataway beginning at 10 a.m. Call 732-445-6127, ext. 0, for more information.

The first of two fairs at Rutgers in October, this one aims to connect math, economics, accounting, and biotech students with 16 companies from around the state, including the Chubb Group, Geico, Altria, NCCI Holdings, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

On Wednesday, October 16, Rutgers will host the “Business & Liberal Arts Career Day” at its Student Center in New Brunswick beginning at 10 a.m.

This program looks to connect all majors with nearly 80 companies looking to fill positions from sales and marketing to management and administration. Some companies include AstraZeneca, Bloomberg, FDIC, Hess, MTV Networks, and the State Street Corporation.

A full list of companies for both Rutgers fairs can be found at http://careerservices.rutgers.edu

Rutgers Career Services also offers advice on how to increase the likelihood of having a successful interview.

Organize a portfolio to bring along to the interview. This may include work samples, extra copies of your resume, copies of your unofficial transcript, a notepad to take notes after the interview, and a list of references.

Attire. Women should wear a suit, pants suit, blazer with a skirt, or a dress in a conservative color. Employers strongly discourage mini skirts, tank/halter/sleeveless tops, and low-cut or tight fitting shirts.

Men should wear a suit with a jacket and tie in a conservative color. No one should wear jeans, t-shirts, wrinkled clothes, sneakers, or hats and all should remove or cover facial or tongue piercings, and tattoos.

Be early. Arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled interview time.

After the interview. Once the interview is completed thank the interviewer for his time and express your appreciation for the opportunity to interview for that organization. Ask the interviewer for a business card for future correspondence, and send the interviewer a thank you E-mail or letter within 48 hours.

Express your appreciation again as well as your continued interest in the position.

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