Employers advise students about the workforce


Director of Career and Assessment Services Terry Lopez speaks about the employee panel. Students and faculty received insightful information about the hiring process Wednesday, March 11. Photo credit: Monica Gallardo

Monica Gallardo

Cerritos College students and faculty received advice for job searching at the employee panel on March 11 in Fine Arts 43.

Despite a delay due to relocation, about 40 people attended the panel, ready to ask questions.

The employers present were:

  • Jennifer Ward with the Southern California Gas Company
  • Cindy Richins with Parker Hannifin Corporation
  • Jessica Johnson with Southern Wine and Spirits
  • Kathyrn Torres and Roland Reyes representing Knott’s Berry Farm
  • Robert Manzano representing the California Highway Patrol
  • Paola Ruiz representing On-Trac Delivery.

Members of the audience were allowed to immediately ask questions ranging from employment gaps in resumes, education requirement, the interview process and filling out the application.

This panel gave the attendees an insight to what employers look for and how they choose who to hire.

All employers agreed that employment gaps in resumes should have a note of what the person was doing during that time of unemployment.

Richins said, “Gaps are common. If you have a large gap in your resume let them know what you were doing, like if you were a caregiver or a stay-at-home mom.”

Ruiz also said, “If you’re not working but going to school, put it on your resume because then we know that this person is preparing for the future.”

Reyes added, “We prefer students. It shows that you are responsible and you have breaks in the summer and winter.”

However, Manzano said, “We don’t take resumes. We don’t accept unemployment gaps, you always need to have a job.”

Among other topics, the employers shared negative traits that job seekers should avoid.

Richins discourages potential candidates from calling for follow-ups to see if their resume has been reviewed.

“We don’t like those calls at all because there are eight recruiters and thousands of applicants. It is only encouraged if you’ve been offered the job. Follow-ups depend on the company size.”

She also said, “I hate when I have to drag an answer out of someone, like if they just say yes or no. Have a conversation with me.”

The importance of basic manners, body language and confidence was also discussed.

Attendees were treated to pizza, cookies and water at the end of the panel.

“I thought it was a really good turnout, given that we relocated and everything. I think those who were here gave a lot of great information. Everyone asked really good questions, I’m pleased,” Director of Career and Assessment Services Terry Lopez said.

“Every year it continues to grow and hopefully these students having a good experience will pass the word on to their friends for next year.”