Did you know SFA can help you find your next employee?

SFA’s Center for Career and Professional Development offers numerous services to help employers and students connect.

Through résumé critiques and mock interviews, CCPD staff members prepare Lumberjacks for career expos, which are held on campus, and assist them with Handshake, an online career management service used by more than 700 colleges and universities to help Lumberjacks link to potential employers.

“There are many advantages to hiring SFA alumni,” said Jamie Bouldin ’05, CCPD director. “We hear comments all the time from employers stating that our alumni are skilled at problem-solving, decision-making, leadership and communication, which are exactly the skills employers are seeking.”

At career expos, students and potential employers meet face to face. Typically, about 300 students attend the expos. Some expos are geared to a specific profession, like nursing or teaching, while others are open to all majors. There is a fee for employers to attend the career expos. Fees vary depending on the event.

“The expos are the only service we offer that involves a fee. Everything else we do is completely free to the employer,” Bouldin said.

Employers are notified about upcoming career expos through email and referrals from SFA faculty and staff. All employers connected to CCPD through Handshake receive notifications of upcoming career expos. Students receive notifications through emails, posters, flyers, social media posts and announcements on mySFA, the university’s intranet portal.

Employers can recruit students for free using Handshake. Once the account is created at joinhandshake.com, the employer connects to SFA to sign up to attend career expos and post jobs and internships.

“Handshake is a great way for all employers to find qualified candidates,” Bouldin said. “It can be especially beneficial for smaller companies and nonprofits that may not have extensive budgets for recruiting.”

Each employer requesting to connect with the university is researched by the CCPD team to ensure it is a good fit for SFA and that the employer provides legitimate opportunities for candidates.

“Attending recruiting events has been very helpful, as we’re able to market our career opportunities to potential candidates who are getting ready to transition into the professional world,” said Austin Propes ’12, parts manager for Mustang Cat. “Utilizing Handshake gives us a quick opportunity to get to know the students in more detail so we can take the next step in the hiring process.”

It’s not just employers and SFA students who can benefit from CCPD’s services. SFA alumni also can utilize all services for free, for life.

“It is extremely rewarding to work with students and alumni to help them meet their goals,” Bouldin said. “Last year, I worked with Nathaniel Blakley, a graduate student who was seeking a collegiate teaching position. During the course of several meetings, we reviewed his résumé and professional profiles, established goals for his job search and discussed how to navigate job offers and salary. He was offered an adjunct position at a community college and recently sent a message he had been promoted to a full-time role. He did the work to get there, but he utilized our office as a resource and for support.”

Students also can take advantage of the CCPD’s career closet, which provides business casual and business professional clothing for students to borrow for free. The clothing may be utilized for students to attend interviews and career expos, during class presentations, or in any situation where the student needs to dress professionally. Items are dry cleaned between each use, a service sponsored by alumni-owned VIP Cleaners.

“Finding a job can be super stressful,” Blakley ’13 & ’18 said. “Having someone I could ask questions to and receive career advice from was immensely helpful. The skills I learned about résumé writing and interviewing made it possible for me to get the job I have doing exactly what I want. I would not have had a fraction of the success I have today without the support of the CCPD.”

For more information on the CCPD and how you can register your company to receive notifications about upcoming career expos and other events, contact Bouldin at 936.468.3305 or ccpd@sfasu.edu.