Launch Manistee helps students prepare for first job interviews

MANISTEE — Over the course of the next several months many high school students will be seeking either summer of full-time employment opportunities in the Manistee County area.

Hannah Rodriguez and Haley Doyle of Launch Manistee speak to CASMAN Academy students about what steps they should take in preparing for their first job interviews.(Ken Grabowski/News Advocate)

Hannah Rodriguez and Haley Doyle of Launch Manistee speak to CASMAN Academy students about what steps they should take in preparing for their first job interviews.(Ken Grabowski/News Advocate)

One of the biggest obstacles they often face in getting hired is making a good first impression with the employers simply because they have never been taught the proper steps to follow. It is why for the past two weeks Launch Manistee’s Hannah Rodriguez and Haley Doyle have been visiting all the schools throughout the county to give the students tips on what they should be doing when meeting with employers. On Thursday they visited the students at CASMAN Academy.

For many of those high school juniors and seniors that first opportunity will come up at at the March 15 Business and Career Expo at the Little River Casino and Resort. However, Rodriguez said the skills they were discussing with the students go well beyond that event and are something that they can continue to utilize in the upcoming months as they seek summer or permanent employment.

“Today some of the things we are talking about is careers, college and how you prepare for those things,” said Rodriguez.

The Business and Career Expo is something that Rodriguez said is a good place to learn what is necessary  to establish those opening relationships with the employers.

“It is an opportunity for students like yourselves to come and explore different career paths and see what is available for you in Manistee County,” she said. “There will be some businesses there that will be looking to hire, and it gives you a chance to see what they are looking for and how to do an introductory interview.”

Rodriguez said the key for the students is to go up to the employers, introduce themselves and give those doing the hiring the chance to get to know them. She said in some cases it might be for job opportunities now or for ones in the future after they get more education.

Doyle said another key for the students is knowing the areas of employment they are seeking a job. She presented a list of the 27 employers that will be at the Career Expo and challenged the students to seek out details on ones of interest.

“Do your research on those businesses, so go on their website and see if they are hiring and think about questions you want to ask them,” said Doyle.

“Some of these businesses like Meijer, Manistee Golf and Country Club, and Arcadia Bluffs are all places that are hiring students right now for summer or part-time employment, so if that is something you are looking for make sure you inquire with them as they hiring lots of students right now.”

Doyle and Rodriguez also encouraged the students to speak to other businesses where they have an interest and  to seek out what type of education is needed for those positions.

“We even have a couple financial institutions and you might need to open a bank account as you prepare for that next step,” said Rodriguez.

They also touched on what students should do in creating resumes that contain pertinent information and the need to dress in business formal or business casual type of attire when meeting with employers.

“It’s also important to look them in the eye, be confident, use your name and have a firm handshake,” said Rodriguez.

Doyle said it is important to think in advance of talking with and employer. Students should  plan on questions the want to ask and the information want to seek from employers.

“It’s always good to bring a notebook along so you can either write down questions you want to ask or information they give you,” said Doyle. “It’s also important to get business cards from the person you speak with so you can remember who you talked to and have all their information. Their name, email, phone will all be on there.”

Another important point of interest was to use technology respectfully when speaking with employers.

“You need to make sure your phones are on silent and not on your phone,” said Doyle. “If you show and interest in them, they will show and interest in you.”

The tips they said should help give the students a better chance at getting a job.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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