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Roberta Buckberg, job opportunity counselor on the Rockville Campus, has some simple advice for students looking for employment: Avoid the “justs.”

Too often, she says, students feel they just don’t have enough experience or are “just starting out.” But Buckberg says every student has something to offer a potential employer.

“If you have taken three accounting classes, you know something about accounting. If you planned a club event, you have organizational skills. If you are a cashier at a fast food restaurant, you handled money, solved problems, and multitasked,” she says. “If you are a cook at the same restaurant, you have handled dangerous equipment and managed food safety.”

To help students with the job search, the College offers a wide array of services, including help on writing a resume, mock interview sessions, recruiter visits, and e-jobs, an online board that averages 600 jobs at all times. Campuswide job fairs are organized each April.

Buckberg says signing up for e-jobs is one of the first things a student looking for work should do. “On e-jobs, the focus is primarily on local opportunities. Many of the employers are alumni and they want to hire Montgomery College students. And there is more of a chance to be noticed than on a national board,” Buckberg says.

To sign up for e-jobs, a resume is required. The College has counselors on hand to help any student get started writing his or her first resume. Counselors can also review a resume that needs editing or updating. Buckberg says don’t forget to show off technical or soft skills you may have gained from classes or volunteer work—even if you were not paid—and to quantify your experience.

“If you were a cashier and handled thousands of dollars with a low error rate, that’s impressive to an employer,” Buckberg says.

Make sure you have a counselor, mentor, or instructor proof your resume.  “Your resume is the first impression. If you say you are detailed-oriented but have spelling mistakes, you may not be hired,” Buckberg says.

In addition to a resume, a LinkedIn profile and in some fields, an online portfolio or a blog can help a student gain the attention of an employer. So can, Buckberg says, professional communication.

“You want to have a conversational tone—don’t be too stiff or formal—but students should still follow basic grammar and punctuation rules and avoid, for example, abbreviations that may be right for a text message to a friend, but not in a cover letter for your future boss.”

To learn more about the career services offered by the College, see the block below. And good luck.

Career Services is helpful to students whether they are looking for:
* A part-time job while in school (either on- or off-campus)
* An internship to gain experience in their major/career field
* A full-time job when finishing school
Internship contacts: Prof. Angela Beemer – 240.567.1630 or angela.beemer@montgomerycollege.edu, Mr. Rolf Barber – 240.567.1650 or rolf.barber@montgomerycollege.edu

Career Services and Events:
* E-jobs online job board
* Help writing your first resume or polishing an existing resume
* Advice about cover letters, references, and obtaining the best recommendations
* Mock interview sessions to practice interviewing skills
* Workshops in classrooms or for clubs or organizations
* On-campus recruitment by individual employers throughout the academic year
* Job fairs on each campus each April, featuring 50+ employers

Job Opportunity Coordinators are available on each campus to help:
Germantown: Ms. Pat McGlone – 240.567.1970 or pat.mcglone@montgomerycollege.edu
Rockville: Ms. Beth Reilly – 240.567.4449 or beth.reilly@montgomerycollege.edu
Takoma Park/Silver Spring: Mr. Joseph O’Hare – 240.567.1630 or joseph.o’hare@montgomerycollege.edu