Career Education, WIBE collaborate for professional event

In between the sunlit windows and the plethora of hanging flags on the second floor of the Henderson Campus Center, dozens of stylish students lined up to have their professional photograph taken. Down below, more students sat at tables by the entryway, discussing and improving their resumes with career counselors. 

The LinkedIn Headshots and Rapid Resume Review event on March 15 was a collaboration between the Office of Career Education and the Women In Business and Economics club as a way to help students get a foot in the door for careers or internships.

“Helping students make that good first impression is what drives us to do this,” said Jim Fitch, Associate Director of Career Exploration. 

The Office of Career Education hosted a rapid resume review last semester, but the opportunity to collaborate with WIBE meant that professional headshots could be part of the next event.

“As we in our office were talking about organizing it, Zula from the Women In Business and Economics reached out to say we would like to collaborate with you on the event,” Fitch said. “I think that that was able to lend some credibility and maybe visibility to the event that we wouldn’t have had otherwise. So we eagerly accepted Zula’s request to join us.”

Vice President of WIBE Zula Stenger, ’25, explained that the collaboration was part of an effort to increase club visibility while also providing students with a chance to improve their LinkedIn profiles.

“For any young professional, it’s necessary now to be super present on LinkedIn, and having that right cover photo can really make you stand out,” Stenger said. 

Students like Bella James, ’24, found the picture day aspect of the event to be helpful as a junior planning for post-graduation.

“I need some professional headshots done to be able to start applying to medical school,” James said. “This looked like the perfect opportunity to do so.”

The event proved to be a success, according to Stenger, who counted over 80 participants.

“That’s more than they’ve ever had for one of those events,” Stenger said. “I’m hoping it was that partnership that really increased visibility.”

The resume review also proved to be a valuable event for students, according to Career Education’s Visiting Career Coach, Bonnie Brucato.

“We wanted to make it very informal in the Campus Center so students could just stop by without an appointment,” Brucato said. 

The rapid review appointments can be useful for students to get introduced to the Career Education office, and many students go on to book follow-up appointments, Brucato explained. 

“The last time we did it we had 20 (reviews); many of those resulted in students making appointments for the first time,” she said.

Both Fitch and Brucato emphasized that an employer’s instant reaction to a resume can make all the difference, so a polished resume can give young professionals an advantage. Fitch explained that an employer looks at a resume for roughly six seconds before deciding whether or not to have a more in-depth look.

“In that six seconds the HR professional would decide, am I gonna look at this further or are we done?” Fitch said. “Knowing that applicants have that brief amount of time to catch someone’s attention, it’s really important that the resume be set up in a way that is gonna draw the reader in.”

Brucato explained that a good resume should be visually appealing as well as have correct sentence structure, grammar and verb tense. 

“There are a lot of things that go into it,” she said.

Given that, both Brucato and Fitch encourage students to make follow-up appointments if they have specific resume questions or are looking for career and internship advice. 

“We would want (students) to know that we are a resource; we’re there for them,” Brucato said.

Students can connect to the Career Education office on Handshake, but making a first appointment can be as simple as stepping into the Pelletier Library.

“If they find it hard to schedule with us on Handshake, all they need to do is come into the library or send us an email, and we’re really flexible,” Fitch said.