By Barbara Martin, Fort Jackson Employment Readiness ProgramSeptember 28, 2011
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Looking for a job can be a daunting and disappointing experience. Even after sending out numerous resumes, job seekers may not receive a single invitation for an interview.
Networking is one of the fastest ways to land a job. Seventy-five percent of jobs are found through personal contacts as opposed to classified ads or posting resumes online.
Job fairs are excellent places to learn how to network and land a job. Start networking by attending the Fort Jackson Job Fair, Tuesday, at the Solomon Center. The job fair is open to WTU Soldiers at 8:30 a.m. and open to the public at 9 a.m. and lasts until noon. Arrive earlier to talk to more than 65 employers hiring for local, national and overseas positions. You can obtain a list of the participating business by going to the Army Community Services website at http://fortjacksonmwr.com/acs_emp/jobfair_info.html.
This event will provide opportunities for job hunters to talk face-to-face with potential employers. Those attending should be prepared and bring copies of their resumes. Resumes should be limited to one to two pages. Resumes can even be targeted to a specific career field.
Those seeking employment should create an "elevator speech" or "infomercial" to use when introducing themselves to an employer. An elevator speech tells the employer who the applicant is, what he or she has done, what the applicant wants to do and how he or she can be a valuable asset; in 30 seconds.
It's just like a commercial. An example is: "Hello, I am John Smith, I have four years of plant management experience plus military related training. I supervise more than 200,000 square feet in industrial and warehouse facilities and eight staff members. I've implemented an energy savings program that reduced cost by more than $70,000 per year. I would like to talk to you about how my background relates to the work you do."
Collecting business cards or contact information and following up within 24-48 hours with a thank you letter to each of the representatives is another way of staying foremost in the employer's mind.
After the job fair, applicants should follow up by posting a resume on each company's website and check the website periodically for new job openings.
The job fair is sponsored by the ACS Employment Readiness Program and the Army Career and Alumni Program. For more information call 751-4862 or 751-4109.