Job seeking in the dark became a reality for the 750+ attendees at the Mature Services Job Fair at the Akron Fairlawn Hilton (near Akron, Ohio) on Tuesday, June 7, 2011.
Whether many people would arrive was questionable as wind-blown rain filled already-soaked streets and a slate sky, split by lightening, hovered over West Akron. When we got to the Akron Fairlawn Hilton, the parking areas were jammed with vehicles and the rain was not letting up.
Arriving at a Job Fair in anything but pristine condition is not advisable so we drove around until we found a spot in what appeared to be the "guest parking" area and waited for the rain to become a drizzle. Soon the sky lightened and my companion, in hat and raincoat, and I, umbrella in hand, scurried around to the front entrance. Strange for the lobby to be dark I thought as I approached the desk to ask the Job Fair's location, only to discover that we were in the wrong hotel.
We walked next door and saw some of the Mature Services staff standing outside the Akron Fairlawn Hilton. We soon learned that the electricity was out, but that it should be on by 11:30 - it was then 10:30am and the Fair had been going for about an hour and a half.
The ballroom was like a grotto with shadowy figures moving in front of the few windows in one wall, and pin points of light dotted the room. Employers booths lined the walls, so they must have arrived while it was still light, but now everyone who had a mini-light was using it - job seekers and exhibitors alike.
Large, round tables were placed so that people could get a coffee or just gather their thoughts for a moment - some actually were filling in job applications. Never let it be said that mature workers are not adaptable!
Jim Mackinnon, an Akron Beacon Journal reporter/photographer arrived and interviewed some the participants, including Judi Trowbridge, an Akron resident. A lengthy article, with a photo of the mini-light holding job applicant (Ms. Trowbridge), appeared on the front page of the newspaper the following day.
Among the exhibitors were Akron General Medical Center, Kent State University, The University of Akron, Prudential Insurance, other educational and health care companies and organizations, and several staffing agencies. For a detailed list visit http://www.matureservices.org and click on the Job Fair icon in the news scroll.
It has been about a year since the writer of this blog started posting, and we apologize for not keeping the blog active. Now we have someone who will answer your questions, respond to your comments, and generally keep this blog going. We invite your comments -- no spammers please -- and here we go with the first topic:
Are you one of those people who fill out a job application by writing, 'see attached resume?' This could be why you're still looking for work. Human Resource professionals say this triggers an "instant circular file" response, in other words your job application and resume wind up in the trash can. WHY?
How you fill out an application is a test to see how neatly, creatively, and consistently you (the job seeker) can fill it in. Remember to read carefully and to answer exactly what you are asked. Primarily, job seekers must learn to look at the entire process of filling a position from the employer's point of view.
How about you? Let's take a poll to see how many people:
- apply in person,
- fill out a standard application manually,
- include a resume or
- send one by mail, or
- apply online.
Day 15 - Ready, set, and off we go!
ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING! is printed large on a sign in the room we have called home for 14 mornings. It is the Last Day of the Job Club, and we're cleaning up some details. We also have a management person from another of ETS' Board of Advisors companies coming in to give a presentation.
· Job seekers should consider getting business cards:
Suggestion: Vistaprint.com will provide 200 cards for the cost of shipping ($5.60) - put your name and contact number and/or email on the front side of card; consider putting your 30-second commercial on the back side.
· If you leave a message on an answering machine, wait two or three days before calling again.
· Get out and about: the Akron Round Table attracts a broad range of people and their meetings are easy to attend. Go to events at the Public Library.
· See pages 162-173 in Notebook:
o Don't take it personally!
o Be Ready for anything.
o If you're in the Interview, you are at least minimally qualified, so concentrate on doing the best interview you've ever done, if you want the job.
o Interviews are subjective from the point-of-view of the interviewer (can he/she see you in his/her team).
Speaker is Manager of Engineering and she brought handouts:
Handouts: Importance of Preparation for Interview, Body Language, and the "Thank you" letter.
Speaker's tips: Obtain key information; Research the company; Assemble documents (resume, references, transcripts, portfolio); Prepare questions; Dress appropriately; Attend to your posture; Practice; Send "thank you" letter; and Follow up.
HANDSHAKES, AND GOOD WISHES ALL AROUND; A BIG "THANK YOU" TO DON ZIRKLE!
Day 14 - A word to the wise...
CONTEST OVER! Group #2 got the prize for the most points in the Employer Information Project mentioned on Day #7.
For today's class, we have a video presentation from the Youngstown office by Edward Jones who is a Human Resources person at Comprehensive Logistics (warehousing). Mr. Jones retired from the Lordstown General Motors (GM) plant; but found, after about a month, that he wanted to go back to work. Thus he is familiar with issues that affect mature workers.
Mr. Jones' resume is described as a snapshot of his experience at GM. He targeted companies in the same geographic region that provided products and performed functions he had provided while he was at GM, and he found a new position within a few months. The keys here are warehousing and transferable skills. If you've done a job for an automotive company, you can do a similar job with different merchandise for a different type of company.
Day 13 - Today it's time to put some lessons to good use
I had an interview scheduled for this morning so I didn't go to class; but the others finished critiquing the interviews job seekers had with Chris and the ETS Board member. Unfortunately, the place where I had the interview could not be helpful with things that Job Club members need to collect for the Employer Information Project (Networking). I will just have to assemble my own business profile and submit that.
Note: For someone like me, who is interested in starting a freelance business, Employment & Training Solutions periodically offers workshops for would-be entrepreneurs.