Job seekers get ready to work

Published 6:55 pm Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Know what your strengths and skills are, and understand how to promote and present yourself to a prospective employer in a positive manner.

Those were some of the lessons reinforced for those attending Tuesday’s “Getting Ready To Work” event at the Wendell Mitchell Conference Center on the LBWCC Greenville campus.

Ricky McLaney, director of the Butler County Commission for Economic Development, one of the sponsors for the event, said dozens of people were waiting outside the doors for the 8:30 a.m. admission time.

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“We probably had at least 100 people in that first hour . . . and we’ve been pretty steady ever since,” McLaney said later in the morning.

Area job seekers from teens to 50-somethings came to take advantage of the chance to create a resume, update and spruce up existing resumes, and learn about how to dress for success and conduct themselves in an interview. Information about educational opportunities and finding funds to go back to school were also provided.

One of the most popular services appeared to be a PowerPoint presentation on “Resume Writing Made Easy” given a number of times throughout the day by Debbie Owens, HR manager for Hysco America.

“Remember, you are selling yourself to a potential employer . . . we have to make ourselves stand out in a positive way in order to capture their attention,” Owens told those in attendance.

“A well-written resume can influence that employer to follow up and help secure you a face-to-face meeting . . . keep it short and straight-forward, business-like in appearance, and tailor it to match the needs of the employer. Have it proofed for any typos or grammatical errors,” Owens advised.

Attendees got to fill out “pocket resumes” which they then took to the Mobile Career Center adjacent to the conference center to be typeset into a resume. Participants could also access computers to do job searches.

There are approximately 1,500 people currently unemployed in Butler County, McLaney said. Those organizing the day’s events hope it will help get the unemployed better prepared to find jobs.

‘We’ve had a good turnout, including some local students who are here to learn about the process of job hunting,” McLaney said. “We have people here from the east side of the state who are looking at doing the same thing in their community, and people from the state who are considering if this is something they want to implement.”