Dress for Success

Think about when you meet someone for the first time. Within minutes, you decide whether or not you like that person. How they dress says a lot about them. First impressions are hard to ignore. Hiring managers are going to size you up when you come in for an interview. You want to give them a good first impression. The Career Services office at Spoon River College has come up with a list of ways you can Dress for Success. Here are ways you can EXECUTE:

  • Get a good night’s sleep. Use eye drops if your eyes look red.
  • Basic hygiene- take a shower, wash your hair and brush your teeth.
  • Use deodorant. Don’t wear overpowering perfume or cologne.
  • Make sure your fingernails are neat and clean.
  • Choose a simple hair style that is a natural hair color. You want the interviewer to be looking at you, not your hair.
  • Makeup- less is more. Make it look natural.
  • Gentleman- get a clean shave or neatly trim your mustache or beard.
  • Limit your jewelry- For Men- a watch and a ring. Women- earrings, a few rings, a simple necklace, and a watch.
  • Classic clothing is best. Dark colors work well.
  • Dress in clothing that you would wear on the job. Make sure they are neatly pressed and clean. Also make sure your clothes fit properly.
  • Pay attention to your shoes. They need to be clean! This shows that you pay attention to details.
  • Empty your pockets, so you are not making any noise while you walk.
  • The most important thing to do: SMILE. This is your best accessory.

There are several community agencies that have free or low cost interview clothing. Please contact Brandi Ketcham at (309) 649-6324 to find one closest to you.

​Job Interview

Your job search has come down to this. You need to ace this interview to get the job. At Spoon River College, we want to help you be your best during a job interview. We have compiled a list of what you need to do to prepare yourself for the interview process. You will need to put just as much time in preparing for an interview as you would have put in for your resume.

Here are some tips to EXECUTE to ensure a success job interview:

  1. Arrive at least 10 minutes early to your job interview!
  2. Never bring anybody else with you during a job interview.
  3. Make it a point to smile and be polite to everyone you meet.
  4. Stand up straight, look people in the eye, extend a firm handshake and offer a professional greeting when meeting someone for the first time. Project enthusiasm!
  5. The handshake should be firm but not bone crushing. Pump twice and then release.
  6. Don’t sit down until you are invited to sit down.
  7. Address the interviewer as Ms. or Mr. unless they ask you to do otherwise.
  8. Sit up straight, near the edge of your seat with both feet on the floor.
  9. Establish a give and take conversation.
  1. Don’t monopolize the conversation or interrupt the interviewer.
  2. Never lie or exaggerate about yourself.
  3. Have copies of your resume or portfolio with you.
  4. Research the company beforehand.
  5. Ask for a tour. Ask questions. This will show that you are interested and eager about working for them.
  6. Remember to sell yourself.
  7. The average job interview lasts 55 minutes. Use your time wisely.
  8. This website has a list of questions that will be asked by the interviewer. Think about how you will answer them when they are asked. Interview Questions
  9. Have a list of questions you would like to ask the interviewer. Here is a list of suggested questions you might ask: What to Ask the Interviewer

Follow Up Letter

If you are looking for something to set you apart from others, then be sure to send a thank you letter AFTER you interview. You have done so much work to get to this place; there is no need to stop now. If you EXECUTE this step, your chances of getting hired will increase. Less than half of the people who interview send a thank you letter. If you send a thank you follow up letter then you will edge out the competition. However, you may wonder what to put in a follow up thank you letter. It is easy. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Keep it brief. Thank the manager for taking the time to interview you.
  • Do it the same day you get home from the interview. Mail it immediately.
  • If you want the job, tell them that. If you don’t want to job, still thank them for their time and ask that they remove your name from consideration.
  • If during the interview, the interviewer mentioned a problem or concern with something, try to let them know in the letter a way they can solve the problem or elevate their concern. Or you could emphasize how well you would fit into their company with your experience and background.
  • You closing should say that you are looking forward to hearing from them. You might even be as bold to say that you will call them in the next few days. If you do say that you are going to call, then FOLLOW UP.
  • Your letter should be on the same paper as your resume and cover letter.
  • Be sure to sign the letter.

Job Fairs

Have you ever attended a Job Fair before? If not, Spoon River College, in partnership with other Community Agencies, hosts a Job Fair every year in the Fall and Spring. Job Fairs are a great way to find out what types of jobs are out there in your community. It also gives you the opportunity to gather more information about companies in your area that are hiring. Job Fairs are also a great way to build a network of contacts. Just like an interview, you need to prepare yourself for a job fair. Treat it like a first interview. This is your opportunity to make a great first impression. Remember to dress appropriately. Bring copies of your resume and a portfolio if applicable. Be prepared to fill out applications. Find out what employers will be there and map out a strategy. Go to the employers that you are most interested in first. Practice a quick sales pitch when talking with employers. Take business cards. Send thank you letters to companies you are interested in. The room will be noisy, so try to not get distracted. Do not grab any free promotional items off the table. EXECUTE.

Caterpillar Student Trainee Program

The Student Trainee Program offers exciting and challenging opportunities for Spoon River College. Students who work at Caterpillar have the advantage of working for a technology leader and the world’s largest maker of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines.

    Requirements for the Student Trainee Program are:

  • Must have a cumulative 2.8 GPA on a 4.0 scale as reflected on an official transcript. (No rounding!)
  • Must be 16 years of age
  • Full time student, currently enrolled as a community college freshman or sophomore
  • Must meet Caterpillar’s criteria regarding specific job fields (Accounting, Clerical, Engineering or IT)
  • Must be legally authorized to work in the United States
    Opportunities in the following areas:

  • Accounting– Basic Accounting, Basic Accounts Receivable, Basic Bank Reconciliation
  • Clerical– Proficient in Typing and Computer Software Knowledge, Data Entry, Filing, Answering Phones, Scheduling Meetings, Distribute Mail, Operate Copy machine, Maintain Office Supplies, etc.
  • Technical– Engineering- CAD, Engineering, manufacturing, Logistics, Electronics, PRO-E
    Technical- IT- Personal Computer Support, Web site Maintenance, Rework Computer Hardware, Basic Electric Experience in Lab, HTML, Install Computer Hardware/Software

These are paid internship opportunities. See Brandi Ketcham in Room C134 on the Canton Campus or call at (309) 649-6324 or email Brandi. Applications are due March 2, 2018. Find out more about the Caterpillar Student Trainee Program on ​Caterpillar’s career webpage

Caterpillar Student Trainee Program Files

Learn more