By Jeremy Henderson, Army Flier Staff WriterJuly 7, 2016
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (July 7, 2016) -- Tackling today's job market can be a daunting task for Soldiers and civilians alike, but a joint effort between Army Community Service, Soldier For Life, and the Ozark Chamber of Commerce strives to provide a centralized location for employment opportunities.
The 13th annual Fort Rucker Area Job Fair is July 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Carroll High School in Ozark. The event, hosted at Enterprise High School last year, rotates between the two communities, according to Alfred Alexander, Soldier for Life transition services specialist.
"This venue will provide more space between employer because of it being a larger community and the gym size," he said, adding that the event is anticipated to welcome more than 1,000 job seekers.
There will be a separate area where only Soldiers, veterans, retirees and their families can see certain vendors that cater to their special experiences and abilities. Service members, current and prior, and specialized clients will wear a circle of the American flag affixed to their collar.
The companies represented at the job fair, to be announced later, will range from local to national businesses, from sales to top Aviation executives. All ranges of experience and education are encouraged to attend.
"Once the employer list is published, research the companies that you want to speak with," Alexander said. "Job seekers should have a 30-second speech prepared to introduce themselves to potential employers.
"Familiarize yourself with the companies present at the job fair," he added. "Determine the companies looking for your education level, skills and experience."
Jobseekers can also take advantage of Army Community Service employment readiness sessions in the Soldier Service Center, Bldg. 5700, in Rm. 350 on a biweekly basis throughout the year. The next session is today, beginning at 8:40 a.m., with another session scheduled for Aug. 4 at the same time and location.
"While I don't hover on the specifics of job fairs per se, I do make an effort to go into the meat of the private-sector résumé and interviewing strategies," Mike Kozlowski, ACS personal financial readiness specialist, said. "I also share other helpful tips attendees can use to make their job hunts less stressful and more productive."
Jobseekers can gain valuable knowledge to help improve their résumé, sharpen their interviewing skills or strengthen their personal brand.
"Personal Branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands," Alexander said. "While previous self-help management techniques were about self-improvement, the personal-branding concept suggests instead that success comes from self-packaging.
According to Alexander, personal branding is composed of three equally-important aspects.
Value Proposition: What do you stand for?
Differentiation: What makes you stand out?
Marketability: What makes you compelling?
Alexander said some job seekers might be hired on the spot or be given the chance to officially interview for positions. However, applicants should not discount an opportunity if they do not receive an offer the day of the job fair.
"Be sure to send 'thank you' notes the any employers who received your résumé," he said. "It could lead to a job offer."
For more information about future workshops or classes, call 255-2594.
For more information, or a full list of attending employers, call 255-1117 or visit www.ftruckermwr.com.