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Fair teaches students job market insights

The talk was about skin care, resumes, dress and stress management at the Lincoln Campus of Gaston College Wednesday, as the school held a fair entitled “Professional Imaging-Creating an Excellent You.”
The fair, which consisted of booths from area businesses, was held to help students prepare for future job interviews along with dressing well for their first jobs.
“This is part of a student’s education,” said Juanita Gunnell, the department chairwoman for the college’s dietetic technician program and one of the events advisors. “We want to help put the polish on the apple and prepare them for interviews.”
The event provided tips for everything, ranging from hair, skin and nail care to resume preparation, jewelry choice and stress management.
“It is important to look like professionals,” said Melanie Lewis, a representative for Mary Kay cosmetics. “How people feel about you helps with both your position and promotions at any job.”
Lewis, who was at the fair providing skin care tips and lip treatments, also pointed out a study that showed that women who had professional hair and makeup made 30 percent more than women who didn’t.
Another common mistake covered at the fair was choices in jewelry.
“Jewelry completes and outfit and makes a statement,” Robyn Woidyla with Premier Designs Jewelry said. “It finishes off the look.”
Woidyla stressed to those at her booth the importance of not wearing too much jewelry.
“It is important to find the balance between too much and not enough,” Woidyla said. “You want to look as professional as possible.”
One aspect of the interviewing and job hunting process many overlook is stress management.
“It (stress management) is important for mental, physical and emotional health,” said Judy Blankenship, yoga and health teacher at Gaston College. “It is especially important, since we live in a world that pushes people harder and faster.”
Blankenship showed students how to stop, relax the muscles, take in a deep breath and a release a long exhalation.
“Because people are interviewing, they have a lot of stress,” Blankenship said. “They need to learn to stop and relax the body and the mind.”
The fair culminated in a fashion show, with all of the clothing being donated by a major retailer.
The show gave several examples of ideal interview and work outfits for both men and women. Students from Gaston College modeled the outfits.
“You always want to go with an outfit a little more casual to an interview,” said Michelle Byrd, emcee for the fashion show and another one of the events planners, said during the show. “You want to have a more conservative look as well.”
Those who attended seemed pleased with the fair as many said they learned new things.
“I think this fair helped people become more business-minded,” said Estelle Currence, a student at the college. “A lot of people don’t realize how much appearance defines whether or not you get hired.”
by Chris Dean

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