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Job Fair Helps Polish Resumes, Search for Employment

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- With graduation coming up, many soon-to-be graduates are joining many others who are looking for work. Recruiters and career counselors said it's important to present your best self both on paper and in-person.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- With today's highly competitive job climate, employers are looking into more than just your resume.

From your handshake and hello to your shoes below, every inch of you could matter to an employer.

"Most businesses want someone that can represent them in a positive manner," said Zahir Calhoun, a student at Ozarks Technical Community College.

Calhoun is one of hundreds of students, graduates, and community members showed up for Ozarks Technical Community College's 2014 Career Fair on Wednesday.

Calhoun worked in the Navy for 22 years and is now looking for a part-time job.

"I'm making rounds, getting a feel for what people are looking for, networking, getting my name out there," he said.

Kathy Christy, Director of Career Employment Services at OTC, works with students to help find jobs. She said preparation is key.

"They need to research the company that they want to visit with," she said. "And then once they research those companies, they can prepare their resume, if they have that ready, bring that with them. Make sure they're dressed appropriately."

Christy also said it's important for job seekers to match the field of interest on paper, and in-person.

"If you are looking for a welding position, you're not going in a three-piece suit because what does that say about your judgement?" she said.

For many people, a career fair is where they meet a potential employer for the first time. In other words, it's kind of like a first date, where the first impression counts.

"You want to make sure you're presenting yourself well verbally and non-verbally," said Christy. "Make sure your communication skills match your non-communication skills. Your body language and what you say should match up."

David Miranda, a recruiter at the Missouri State Highway Patrol, stressed the significance of an initial meeting.

"You'll never get a second chance at a first impression," he said.

Aside from presentation, Christy said it's important to treat a job fair as an opportunity to not only meet a potential employer, but to also network.and make connections for future internships and employment.


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