YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea -- Job fairs are a way for job seekers and employers to connect and add a personal touch to a job search characterized by email attachments and online notifications.

The USAG Yongsan Job Fair will be held on Friday, May 18 at the Dragon Hill Lodge from 10 a.m. -- 2 p.m. Servicemembers, Retirees, Family Members, Civilians and Local Nationals will have the chance to meet with over 20 employers based in and around USAG Yongsan.

The bi-annual job fairs let job seekers and employers showcase their offerings, and are often the first step in the right direction in landing a job at USAG Yongsan.

Hyechin Blakeslee, systems administrator, BAE Systems, found the job fairs useful for her job search in several ways.

"Unlike applying for jobs online, the job fair provided a chance to personally interact with company representatives," Blakeslee said. "That allowed me to find additional details about the company contract status, current employment trends, as well as prospective job opportunities you typically cannot discuss through the online job hunting process."

Personal interaction with potential employers was also important to Melissa Arva, academic advisor, University of Maryland University College.

"We could see who we are working for and what kinds of jobs are available," Arva said. "It would be good to know who my co-workers or supervisor will be."

Employers also find that the job fairs are important ways to connect with the Community for current and future job opportunities.

Jerry R. Little, regional enrollment manager, University of Maryland University College, said, "We too are looking to help build and support the local Community through employment opportunities for Dependents of our Servicemembers and DoD employees. Though we don't always have jobs listed for the local area, we often post jobs for areas throughout Korea."

Temporary, seasonal, part-time and full-time positions are offered, and can lead to further opportunities within the organization.

Ray Delgado of BAE Systems noted, "I have hired several permanent and temp employees as a result of the jobs fairs. Several of the temp employees have landed full-time positions as a result of their temporary employment."

Job seekers can find success at the job fair by remembering two words: be prepared.

"Come prepared to impress," Little said. "First impressions do matter."

Others added that asking questions is the best way to learn about the employers and positions available.

Frank Jackson, employment readiness manager at Army Community Service, advised, "Be prepared to ask questions about what employers do and what they do here in Korea specifically."

Blakeslee added, "Speak with confidence and try to find information about current/prospective job opportunities as much as you can while exploring the job fair."

Through job fairs, job seekers and employers build and improve the Yongsan Community, one opportunity at a time.

Blakeslee explained, "There are limited jobs around this area and finding a right job takes time and effort. I was lucky enough to find a position relatively quickly after the job fair, but it may not be the case for everyone. I think job fairs are great ways to find a position and build relationships with potential employers."

"I do not think I would have filled as many positions without the assistance of the job fairs," Delgado said.

Jackson advises all attendees, "Be careful, you may get what you wish for!"