Hundreds attend job fair at Hagerstown Community College

October 06, 2007|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

More than 700 people endured the less-than-comfortable temperatures of Hagerstown Community College's Athletic, Recreation and Community Center Friday for the chance to get their résumés into the right hands during the school's fourth annual Fall Job Fair.

"It's really, really hot in here. But it's worth it," said Thurman May, 44, as he stood in line to talk to a representative at one of the job fair's recruitment booths.

Thurman, an out-of-work truck driver, said the gym's stuffy conditions were a small price to pay for the opportunity to speak to dozens of potential employers.

"This is my first job fair, and I think it's very useful," Thurman said. "You can interact with different companies and get a feel for what they're looking for."


Sixty-five companies set up booths at the job fair, which was co-sponsored by HCC and The Herald-Mail.

Restaurants, banks, staffing firms and law enforcement agencies were just a few of the fields represented.

Paul Flohr was at the job fair trying to recruit mechanics for Ram Tech Inc. in Chambersburg, Pa.

Flohr said job fairs are a good way for the company to build a pool of applicants. He noted that the turnout at HCC's job fair was particularly good.

"I was at a job fair last week in Breezewood (Pa.) for eight hours," Flohr said. "It's been an hour and a half here, and I've already collected more résumés than I did there."

For applicants trying to improve their prospects, the Washington County One-Stop Job Center set up a booth Friday offering free résumé advice.

Shanon Wolf, administrator of the job center, said too much information and a lack of focus were the two biggest résumé problems she saw.

"People just need to be clear about what they're looking for," Wolf said.

Vanessa Alalade, 28, was in search of a customer service or marketing job Friday.

"Anything where I can put my business degree to use," Alalade said.

By 11:30 a.m., Alalade had visited almost a dozen booths, talking to people from hospitals, banks and staffing agencies.

Alalade said she found the job fair helpful, though she said she was disappointed that so many representatives were telling her to submit a résumé on the company's Web site.

"That's a little discouraging, but overall it's been a good event," Alalade said.

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