GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — Mike Kramer, 21, of Linwood, dressed for success Thursday and it paid off.

The Richard Stockton College student arrived at the college Fall Career and Internship Fair in a suit, tie and color-coordinated pocket square, and landed an interview with a major accounting firm.

“I got really good feedback,” he said. “The (college) Career Center helped a lot. They really prepare you for this event all through September.”

Walter L. Tarver III, director of the Career Center was happy to see that more employers did seem to have jobs available this year. He was impressed with how early students arrived for the 10 a.m. event, and how well they were dressed.

“We actually had a line waiting for it to open,” he said. “Students are also seeing the urgency of looking professional.”

Tarver said students have been coming to career services earlier and more often to see about job openings, get help with their resumes and prepare for job interviews. He said those services can give graduates an edge in the job market.

“And at least this year there seem to be job openings for them,” Tarver said.

Employer booths filled the Campus Center this year, with about 80 companies registered to participate. Many had jobs but said the market is still competitive.

AtlantiCare recruiter Felicia Banks, of Galloway Township, said they have about 150 jobs open right now, ranging from administrative to clinical, but some will go fast.

“We’ll get 150 applicants in three days for a food-service job,” she said.

While applicants still have to apply online, she said it can help if they first meet her and present a resume. She said she also comes to the fairs so she can promote the many jobs that have nothing to do directly with health care, such as accounting, human resources and information technology.

“I’ve talked to nursing students, but also computer science majors,” she said.

Banks said many students will start in an entry-level job such as food service as a way to learn about AtlantiCare and meet people in the company in the hopes of getting a better full-time job after they graduate.

Students said they were looking at all options. Accounting major Ryan Clark, 23, of Little Egg Harbor Township, talked to the FBI about forensic accounting opportunities. Hospitality major Allysa Stanmelos, 22, a junior, is looking for a part-time job that could go full-time after she graduates.

One area that does have job openings is physical therapy. Lori Munyan, human resources director for HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Toms River, said there are jobs, but most are very competitive. She said physical therapists continue to be in demand because there is a higher level of education required, typically at least a master’s degree. Stockton has a doctoral program in physical therapy, and a nursing program, which attracts many rehabilitation facilities to the job fair.

“It’s great for the college to have a (physical therapy) program because students can do their clinical internships locally and get jobs in the area,” Munyan said.

For every job filled, there are still many looking. Jim Wasser of Source4Teachers, a substitute teacher service, said they have done very well during the recession because there are so many people who can’t find permanent fulltime jobs.

“We have thousands of trained substitutes and we are serving more than 100 school districts,” he said. While many of their subs are certified teachers, some are also coming in from law, real estate and insurance.

“They got downsized, or they can’t find jobs, and they are thinking maybe I’ll try teaching,” he said. “This is a way for them to try it out, get some experience, and get known in schools.”

His advice to prospective teachers? Get certified in science or math — that’s what’s in the most demand.

Contact Diane D'Amico:

609-272-7241