Local News

Job fair offers job-seekers chance to sell themselves

Posted March 11, 2009

— About 1,650 people attended the Capital Area JobLink Spring Career Expo on Wednesday to meet with 50 companies that need workers.

Job seekers began lining up at least an hour before the 9 a.m. start of the fair at the McKimmon Center at 1101 Gorman St.

“I was told I wouldn’t have a job as an educator in Wake schools,” teacher Lewan Mann said. She will be out of work at the end of June. “I need to take it upon myself to look and prepare myself.”

Job fair offers job-seekers chance to sell themselves Job fair in Raleigh

The event – sponsored by the Capital Area JobLink Career Center – attracted about twice the normal turnout for the fair, organizers said.

Competition is stiff, as almost everyone knows, and job-hunters were advised to bring several copies of an updated resume, dress professionally and be prepared to wait for a chance to speak with interviewers.

North Carolina State University, the state Division of Motor Vehicles, the Wake County Sheriff’s Office and others met with potential employees.

The National Guard also had a booth setup but saw little interest from job seekers. Representatives said they believe people are just too afraid of fighting in a war.

Jay Nolfo, a former market research worker for the construction industry, attended the fair. He was laid off four and a half months ago.

“It gets really hard just sitting there waiting for a phone call. I’m on the computer everyday looking for jobs, talking to people, networking with people as much as I can,” Nolfo said.

While Mann and Nolfo said they would be willing to take a job outside of their fields, they are finding a lot of employers are being more selective.

“A lot of the jobs I’ve looked for, I match in all criteria except they want so many years in software,” Nolfo said. “I’ve got nine in homebuilding, but people (employers) can’t be picky today and they are.”

Nationally, 12.5 million people are out of work. Many are part of a growing group who say the traditional way of finding work has left them out of luck and standing in line at job fairs.

Cindy Chunn, with Manpower, was at a Raleigh event her company recently held.

"We've had multiple job fairs before, but not with this kind of turnout," Chunn said.

In New York City, Monster.com – a popular job Web site – launched a "Keep America Working Tour." Nearly 4,000 people showed.

The Monster road show is coming to Raleigh on March 31, though there is no word yet on where it will be held.


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  • dogluvr26 Mar 11, 2009

    A coworker showed me an article the other day about a study regarding appearances in relation to job interviewing. Oddly, those who wore glasses to interviews were less likely to be viewed as team players and thus, not as "desirable". (I personally would've only thought the person would be viewed as being more studious with the glasses on.) So, one tip: put in the contacts and leave the glasses at home as every little detail matters. Good luck to those looking! It's tough, but not hopeless.

  • watch out here i come Mar 11, 2009

    Wonder how much a person can sell themself for at this Job Fair?? Bad choice of Words in the Title. Honestly hope some people who attend are able to find some Jobs. Have been in that situation before and some fields offer better options than others(IT not a good Option at these Job Fairs).

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Mar 11, 2009

    "Job fair offers job-seekers chance to sell themselves"

    I thought it was illegal to sell yourself.

  • michelle.s Mar 11, 2009

    I should be there. But it's hard after not interviewing/job hunting for over 15 years.

  • DLG Mar 11, 2009

    Best of luck to all!

  • iamyeary Mar 11, 2009

    Good Luck and make sure you look your best, because our outward appearance counts more than we would like to believe....

  • iwideopen Mar 11, 2009

    What we are seeing is the direct results of outsourcing.

    Outsourcing feeds upon itself. Who's gonna buy a house, car or any other big ticket item if there is no jobs to be had ?

  • Greg Hyer Mar 11, 2009

    I wish everyone attending the best of luck and to take this opportunity to network with others.

  • oldrebel Mar 11, 2009

    My son is up there in the crowd, in hopes of getting lucky today.

  • texasncgirl Mar 11, 2009

    I, too, wish everyone luck in the job fair. Makes one more and more thankful for actually having a job, regardless as to whether or not you like it. I for one am so very thankful for having a secured job.