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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Nashua job fair connects veterans and employers

NASHUA – Employers from Mary Kay cosmetics to the Army Reserves showed up at a state-sponsored job fair at Nashua Community College on Tuesday, drawing applicants and interviews from two dozen military veterans and four times as many civilian job-seekers.

A total of 40 employers – offering more than 375 open positions – turned out for the job fair hosted by the New Hampshire Employment Security Agency. ...

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NASHUA – Employers from Mary Kay cosmetics to the Army Reserves showed up at a state-sponsored job fair at Nashua Community College on Tuesday, drawing applicants and interviews from two dozen military veterans and four times as many civilian job-seekers.

A total of 40 employers – offering more than 375 open positions – turned out for the job fair hosted by the New Hampshire Employment Security Agency.

“Job applications are usually done online, this way (applicants) can talk directly to employers and get a foot in the door,” said Pam Szacik, NHES administrator. “It’s the easiest way to reach multiple applicants at once.”

She said the foot traffic at Tuesday’s job fair was slow but steady.

“It’s a little slower than what we usually have, but it’s a targeted job fair,” said Szacik. The event was presented for veterans for the first two hours of the morning, then opened to the general public.

After the fair, 23 job-seekers had participated and identified as ex-military, along with 86 other applicants from the community.

NHES often runs job fairs for veterans. “This is one of our regular job fairs we do every year,” said Szacik. “They’re pleased we’re here. It shows we’re trying to help them find work as quickly as they can.”

Granite State College and Manchester Community College were there as well, offering education and training opportunities.

NHES representatives also help coach applicants on how to interact with potential employers. “We find that people brand new to the job fair experience ask ‘How do I approach the employer?’” said Kevin Myers, job fair coordinator at NHES.

Myers said helping applicants prepare for the job fair is part of their service. “That’s why we give out a list of employers, so they know who they’ll be talking to,” he said. Although most job-seekers are usually prepared as far as dressing appropriately and bringing in their resume, he said, a lot of it comes down to comfort level. In contrast to the typical one-on-one interview experience, Myers said the fair can be disconcerting.

“This is a wide-open environment … it’s you plus 50 people,” he said.

NHES staff encourage applicants to speak with everyone.

“It might not be a company you’d ever work for, but it’s an opportunity to get comfortable speaking to employers, to get you prepared for the right one,” Myers said.

Workshops include resume-writing, interviewing skills and how to market yourself at a job fair. The Nashua office is located at 6 Townsend West.

Upcoming fairs include one on Thursday at the Plymouth armory and next Wednesday at the Somersworth armed forces reserve senter.

Tina Forbes can be reached at 594-6402 or tforbes@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Forbes on Twitter (@Telegraph_TinaF).