Job fair to host more than 30 area employers
May 10, 2014 at 12:10 a.m.
Updated May 11, 2014 at 12:11 a.m.
Summer is around the corner, and it's time for many to start thinking about new jobs and part-time work.
The Workforce Solutions Golden Crescent annual job fair at the Victoria Community Center will include employers that range from petrochemical plants to retail, said Executive Director Henry Guajardo.
"We have seen in the past that individuals can be hired on the spot," Guajardo said. "The chances of being hired are higher if they are prepared."
To prepare for the job fair, Guajardo and Armando Villarreal, with the Victoria Independent School District human resources department, shared their tips on how to make an outstanding first impression and possibly land a job.
Do the homework
Guajardo encourages job seekers to register online at workintexas.com before attending the event. Many employers use this database to search for potential employees when they are looking to hire, Guajardo said.
If you don't have a computer, he said, there will be laptops set up for job seekers who need to register.
Villarreal said registering ahead of time can give someone a little bit of an advantage. If there is a map there, use it to find the table of interest or find someone who can point you in the right direction.
"Visit the right fields for you first but keep your options open," he said.
Know your information
Go over the details on a standard application and familiarize yourself with dates, positions, phone numbers and other relevant information an employer needs to know about you.
It can save someone time to have all their information written down before filling out an application, Guajardo said.
When it comes to the resume, Guajardo said it is important to be able to respond to gaps in employment and make sure it provides the employer with a good picture of who you are and what your skill or education levels are. Accomplishments are equally important, but don't brag, he said. Instead, emphasize unique details or awards you've received.
The first impression is critical, he said. If you're talking to potential employers, you need to be dressed well, have a firm handshake and show that you're interested in the company.
"Business causal would be appropriate," Guajardo said. "They can come in a suit, but it's better to be dressed at a minimum in business casual. You want them to remember that first impression."
Be sure to dress with the job in mind, Villarreal said.
If the position you are looking for is a desk job, dress in business casual attire, and if it's an oil service position, pressed jeans and a button-up shirt might be appropriate, he said.
"Dress appropriately for the job you are applying for," Villarreal said.
There will be 30 to 40 employers to talk to and hundreds of job seekers vying for their attention right with you.
"If you are going to cover a lot of ground, get there early," he said.
Also, it is important to let your family and friends know about job applications that might list them as references. They will need to know what positions you're applying for, so they can talk to employers about your skills or education.
If you find you are interested in a particular position, follow up by sending the employer's representative a thank-you card.
"You are competing for positions with other individuals, so that extra step can help, and it shows that employer you are sincerely interested," he said.
Villarreal said a phone call to the employer would be acceptable, too.
"Drop a line or a note to ask about the status of your application and to make sure it has been received," he said.
It might also give the employer a chance to ask for additional information if they didn't get it the first time, he said.
It can be nerve-wracking walking around the Victoria Community Center talking to potential employers for a job.
"I don't know anyone who is comfortable with interviewing," Guajardo said.
"You don't want to preoccupy yourself with what you might have done wrong; you can't let that get you down," he said.
There are more opportunities for work now than there were five years ago, Guajardo said.
"If you don't get that first job, there is going to be a second job and a third and a fourth," he said. "Don't beat yourself up over it. There are other chances."