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 on the Internet.

Job fairs are excellent places to learn how to network and land a job. Job seekers can start networking by attending the Fort Jackson Job Fair, 9 a.m. to noon, Oct. 2, at the Solomon Center. The job fair is open to military personnel, family members, veterans and DoD employees.

Job seekers are encouraged to get there earlier to talk to more than 75 employers hiring for local, national and overseas positions. A list of participating business is available online at

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 or two pages. Resumes even can 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.

One 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 costs 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 to 48 hours with a thank-you letter to each of the representatives is another way of staying on top of an employer's mind.

After the job fair, applicants need to post their resumes on each company's website and check the websites periodically for new job openings. A workshop titled, "How to Make the Job Fair Work for You" is scheduled for 9 to 11 a.m., Sept. 25.

This workshop will help applicants develop a strategic plan to make this most of this event. Call 751-1723 to register. Free child care is available for military spouses to attend the workshop. Child care must be coordinated in advance with Army Community Services. For child care details, call 751-4862.

The job fair is sponsored by the Army Community Services Employment Readiness Program and the Army Career and Alumni Program. For more information, call 751-4862/1723.