Times Union job fair unites recruiters, prospective employees

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017 - Resume

Colonie

Clutching a stack of resumes and a leather binder, Alisha Deen set out to find work at the Times Union Job Fair on Monday.

The stay-at-home mother of two has been looking for a part-time job for more than a year. Deen, who lives in Guilderland, holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees and has worked for several nonprofits.

Filling out applications online had yielded few leads. She visited four booths at the fair.


“Without connections at these companies, it’s difficult. I keep not making the cut,” she said. “I came to this fair because I was trying to think outside the box.”

Deen was among several hundred people who attended the fair at the Albany Marriott Hotel on Wolf Road. The crowd milling around in dark suits and pencil skirts was a mix of all ages and backgrounds, united by their quest to secure a job.

Representatives from nearly 70 companies stood behind tables covered with brochures, water bottles and lanyards. They emphasized strong interpersonal skills, such as an employee’s ability to get along with coworkers, and dedication to customer service.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., they answered questions and accepted resumes from dozens of prospective employees, hoping to emerge with one or two promising candidates.

“There’s a lot of people that have an interest in serving,” said Staff Sgt. Nicholas Curtis, recruiter for the New York Army National Guard. “If we get one to three people, it’s a good day.”

“We got one hire out of the last job fair we went to,” said Michelle Prisco, human resources manager at Bellevue Builders Supply.

The Schenectady-based company, which sells building materials and offers design and installation services, is looking for an escort driver, a warehouse associate and kitchen and bathroom designers. Employees have to be available for Saturday shifts, which is off-putting for some applicants, Prisco said.

“The most important things are open-mindedness and customer service skills,” she said.

Poestenkill resident Lizette Strait has applied for full-time positions in marketing and writing through LinkedIn, Monster and other career websites, but came to the job fair hoping to meet the people on the other side of the screen.

“Online, it’s faceless, emotionless,” Strait said. “Employers want to get to know the personality of the person looking, so this is more advantageous. It’s like a meet-and-greet.”

She stopped by five booths, talked to company representatives and dropped off her resume and business cards. She plans to keep hunting and filling out more applications.

“You have to look at everything,” Strait said. “You just never know.”

[email protected] • 518-454-5018 • @madisoniszler

 

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