Agencies from various departments of the State of California packed a community room in the student center at American River College Wednesday to give students information on jobs and the application process at an event hosted by the career center.
The purpose of the event was to provide students with information on how to find jobs on the state’s website, jobs.ca.gov, how to apply for jobs with the state and how to follow up after the application has been completed.
The community room where the event was held quickly filled to maximum capacity and many students were turned away while other students, who were confused about the start time due to a misunderstanding on the event’s posting, arrived after the presentation was over.
The students that did manage to arrive on time and get in before the room filled found the event to be helpful and informational.
Milenra Popazivanov, an accounting and business major, applied four times in the past for the state and said the jobs are hard to find.
“Many students are looking for state jobs…for benefits or retirement…(the information) was beneficial,” said Popazivanov.
Popazivanov also spoke highly of the speaker of the event, statewide recruiter Brandon Littlejohn. She was appreciative of his ability to provide plenty of information that she found helpful.
Added Popazivanov, “I learned new information that was not on the website and found new positions to apply for.”
Advice that Littlejohn offered the students included reading the department’s mission statement and “tailoring” one’s application to that specific job.
“If someone submits a standard application it looks (to the employer) like no effort was put into the application. However, tailor doesn’t mean copy,” said Littlejohn.
Other advice Littlejohn offered students was to place the experience the agencies want at the top of their applications, even if the student was not paid for it.
Erica Salinas, who works closely with Littlejohn as the statewide workforce planning analyst at the California Human Resources Department, empathized with the students who found the application and follow-up process to be frustrating.
“I understand the process is difficult and frustrating. We are actively working on a solution for a better application experience,” said Salinas.
Salinas also urged students to remember that when applying employers are more impressed with “quality of work, not quantity” and reiterated that students should get ahold of a department’s duty statement, either online or by contacting the department’s personnel and asking what experience the unit is searching for.
Both Salinas and Littlejohn stayed after the event was over to answer more questions from students and repeatedly expressed how willing they were to help any student that needed it.