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Handshakes, haircuts, and first impressions: Career Services offers “Career Makeover”

May 07, 2009 12:00AM

W hen

Students are asking about new job search strategies, but it simply comes down to putting consistent time and effort into your job search. "
~ Mindy Cloninger, director of Career Services
it comes to the competitive job market these days, students need every advantage they can get: After all, no potential employer wants to be distracted by the unkempt hair or limp handshake of their interviewee.

To better prepare students for the first impressions they're about to make on the job hunt, the Office of Career Services at PSU is hosting "Career Makeover: From Handshakes to Haircuts" from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, May 7, in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom at Overman Student Center.

As the final event of the year for Career Services, the office is making sure students have their bases covered. "Career Makeover" will offer a number of image-polishing career prep stations, featuring professionals offering instruction in areas such as how to properly tie a necktie, how to give an effective handshake, how to tastefully accessorize an interview outfit, and how to polish a resume. Additional stations include tips on shoe shining, creating business cards, preparing for interview dialogue, and more. Hors d'oeuvres will also be provided.

Students can enter a drawing for a free business suit (donated by Career Services and JC Penney) as well as a mini-makeover from Allure Salon and Spa in Pittsburg. Allure will also be featured at a booth on professional hairstyles, and will be giving free haircuts to students.

In addition to the booths, a keynote speaker will address students on what it's like to be a new professional. Nick Dellasega, a recent PSU graduate and audit associate with KPMG, an international accounting firm, will take the stage at 5:30 p.m. Other local professionals will lead breakout sessions on online social networking, thinking outside the box when looking for a job, and how to seal the deal when they've found the job they want.

Career Services Director Mindy Cloninger says the event will be helpful for any major.

"As competitive as the job market is, every detail of appearance, professionalism, and business etiquette is more important than ever before," she said, adding that students should bring items they need advice on, such as resumes, accessories, or even shoes they need shined. "Students are asking about new job search strategies, but it simply comes down to putting consistent time and effort into your job search. At Career Makeover, we're trying to equip individuals to make that transition from student to professional."

The registration fee for the event is $5, and business casual attire is recommended. For more information, contact Barb Roberts, career counselor, at 620-235-4143 or go to To register, go to

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