“Looking for a new job can be overwhelming and hard to navigate at times,” says Mattie Brawner, marketing consultant at The Gazette and the Corridor Careers website.
With that in mind, Corridor Careers and the University of Iowa are teaming up to present the Corridor Career Fair to help Eastern Iowans connect with local employers. The Corridor Career Fair will be held June 27 at the Cedar Rapids Clarion Hotel & Convention Center, 525 33rd Ave. SW.
“Whether they’re looking for an opportunity to network with local companies who are hiring, have their resume reviewed by an HR professional or attend a seminar about the hiring process, job seekers will leave the Corridor Career Fair feeling more informed about their options and opportunities,” Brawner says.
“A diverse group of employers are participating in the 2013 Corridor Career Fair,” says Brad Miller, an account manager in recruitment advertising at The Gazette and Corridor Careers. Employers will be on hand with openings in transportation, IT, customer service, manufacturing and health care to name just a few.
Miller says that people should not assume that local companies aren’t hiring. “Currently, we offer over 500 job postings on CorridorCareers.com and a very healthy recruitment section in The Sunday Gazette. Hiring is strong and continues to grow in our region.”
In addition to bringing a stack of your resumes, come to the Corridor Career Fair with an open mind, says Darlene Hughes, an account manager in recruitment advertising at The Gazette and Corridor Careers.
Hughes feels that too many attendees at a career fair count themselves out too quickly, assuming they couldn’t work for certain companies because they’re either underqualified or overqualified.
“You really don’t know until you ask; you might be perfect for that company,” she says.
Hughes recommends attendees be brave and quickly talk to each exhibitor. “Stop and talk to each one. Stop and listen to what types of jobs they might have.”
A number of exhibitors will ask career fair attendees to fill out a brief job application, what Hughes calls a short form. After the fair, companies will call applicants they wish to interview. Remember, you’re not trying to get a job offer at a career fair. You’re trying to line up a job interview for a later date.
Hughes suggests that attendees be sure to follow through. “Don’t hesitate to call back, especially if it’s a job or a company you’re really interested in.” Companies that will be at the Corridor Career Fair have jobs to fill. “And many are willing to train,” she adds.
FREE RESUME CRITIQUING
A team of local human resources professionals will offer free resume critiques at the Corridor Career Fair from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Venezia Room at the Cedar Rapids Clarion. This is your chance to get an expert’s advice on how to give your resume that winning edge.
JOB SEARCH SEMINARS
Whether you’re looking for a new job right now or just want to be more prepared for a future change, check out two free seminars that will be offered at the Corridor Career Fair in the Firenze Room.
At 5:30 p.m. Jeff Taylor, from Skywalk Group in Cedar Rapids, will present “Utilizing Social Media in Your Job Search.” He’ll discuss the ins and outs of using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to brand yourself and find job opportunities.
At 6:30 p.m., Sharon Dralle Wilkinson, from SDW Consulting in Cedar Rapids, will present “The Hiring Process.” She’ll share expert tips on how to structure your resume, prepare for interview questions, follow up after the interview and handle salary negotiations.
PREREGISTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN $500
Preregistration for the Corridor Career Fair is not required, but you can preregister online at info.corridorcareers.com/careerfair to be entered in a drawing for a $500 Visa gift card.
• Bring copies of your resume.
• Dress appropriately, in business attire, as if you were going to an interview.
• Bring a pen and paper to write down the names of employers you meet and the information you’ll need to follow up.
• Practice a quick elevator pitch, summarizing your experience and what you can bring to the table.
• Most importantly, bring a positive attitude. Smile, shake hands and introduce yourself. Your dream job could be out there just waiting for you.