Job fair puts employers, potential employees face-to-face

Friday, September 15th, 2017 - Resume

Posted: Sep. 14, 2017 8:40 pm Updated: Sep. 14, 2017 9:23 pm

QUINCY — Lori Klusman walked out of the region’s largest career fair Thursday night feeling optimistic.

Klusman hasn’t had much luck finding a job but said the event — sponsored by The Herald-Whig, WGEM and John Wood Community College — was helpful because it put her together with people and businesses that are hiring.

“Lots of places are all online now, which is convenient because you can do it from home at midnight, but if they don’t see me, they don’t know me,” Klusman said. “Unless you have the worst resume ever, no one sounds bad on paper.”

More than 20 employers were on hand to meet with prospective employees at JWCC’s Student Activity Center.

Marcie Kramer, director of human resources at Transitions of Western Illinois, spent the night talking to people and asking what made them great.

“If they’re great at something that’s a good match for us, my wheels start turning about what positions we have,” Kramer said.

With 210 on staff at Transitions, from nondegree to master’s positions, “there’s lots of opportunity,” she said, but “the competition is fierce for good candidates. There’s lots of jobs and not as many candidates for jobs.”

Job fairs such as Thursday’s give vendors the chance to get the word out about what they do — and what employees they need for continued success.

“We want some great people with us,” said Stephanie Tafoya, human resources coordinator with Dot Foods in Mount Sterling. “We are always hiring.”

That businesses were hiring was welcome news to Caleb Robbins of Pittsfield.

“I’m almost done with college and just looking to see what job offers are out there,” Robbins said.

One woman talked to potential employees hoping to broaden her horizons.

“It’s not good to be at a standstill in a job. If you can advance, it’s much better,” she said. “I did get some good ideas.”

So did Andy Lewis, who lives in Wichita, Kan., but wants to move to Quincy.

“I’m looking for some opportunities,” said Lewis, who was born in Quincy and still has family in the Gem City.

“I was out here just to see if I could better myself,” said Gerard Saxbury of Camp Point. “I got some information on a couple of employers.”

The face-to-face interaction between employers and potential employees is key, Herald-Whig Marketing Manager Eric Wait said, and Thursday’s career fair allows that type of interaction to occur.

“Social media, LinkedIn are all great platforms to network, but at the end of the day, in my opinion, face-to-face interaction goes a long ways,” Wait said.

Klusman agreed.

“There’s places right there you can apply,” she said. “It’s easy. You can give them a resume, and if they want, you can follow up with an application. You kind of meet them, know a little bit” about them.

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