Saturday, July 12, 2014

Job seekers put on best face

September 17. 2013 11:37PM

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WILKES-BARRE — Job seekers can file dozens of applications online and mail in the same amount of resumes, but a career fair offers something that those other two cannot: face-to-face interaction.

“You have to get an idea of their character, that’s something you can’t portray over the Internet,” said Megan Erwine, the director of marketing for Erwine Home Health and Hospice Inc., of Kingston.

Erwine was among the representatives from two dozen businesses, temp agencies or other organizations on hand Tuesday for the 18th annual Times Leader Job Fair at the 109th Field Artillery Armory on Market Street. The event attracted hundreds of job seekers, including Jeffery Kairo of Forty Fort.

Kairo, a Shavertown native, came dressed in a shirt and tie and said it was his first job fair in more than a dozen years. The 43-year-old had worked the past 11 years in Stevensville, Md., at the Paul Reed Smith Guitar production facility. But cuts in hours led him to quit that job and move back this summer to his native Luzerne County, where he accepted a position at the warehouse near Hazleton, he said.

But while he enjoys his job, the commute is a bit much and he was hoping to land a job closer to his Forty Fort home.

The ability to sell himself in person was an opportunity he could not pass up. “Filling out an application takes the personal profile out of the whole picture,” said Kairo. “Face to face, I consider to be better.”

Erwine said that in certain positions, especially home health care, a certain personality sometimes trumps a long resume. “It takes a special kind of personality, and that’s something you can pick up when face to face,” Erwine said.

But sometimes resumes do work.

Ty Simms, of Wilkes-Barre, says he has applied for his past three jobs online and was called in for interviews for all three. Unfortunately, each job ended up being short term or not to his liking, he said, so he decided to bring a stack of resumes to the job fair Tuesday, hoping his stay in the unemployment line will be short-lived.

“Fingers crossed,” said Simms, “I’ll be working by October.”

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