Jobseekers flock to YGK Job Fair
Fifty-eight employers welcome more than 1,000 potential workers during annual event
It gets the students asking questions. I find job fairs are good for employers to do preliminary interviews with them, That’s good for students, just to prep them for when they actually go in for interviews.”
St. Lawrence College Career Services Krista Smith
The YGK Job Fair was a win-win for both employers and jobseekers in the Kingston community.
Employers said the Wednesday event at the Ambassador Hotel gave them the opportunity to gain exposure in the Kingston area, and applicants were able to better network themselves in person, especially local students.
“It’s really great to not only see other employers that are hiring within the community, and what partnerships we can have with them and make connections, but also tell the students and the community about YMCA jobs and what we offer and what we are looking for,” Gillian Friedman of the YMCA of Kingston said.
“We get a lot of applications [at the job fair] and a lot of them end up being employees.”
Fifty-eight employers gathered for this year’s YGK Job Fair, hosted by St. Lawrence College Career Services. They were set up in the Ambassador’s large ballroom to meet the crowds of people rushing through the doors.
Amanda Vanderhaar, one of the co-ordinators of the event from St. Lawrence College Career Services, projected that more than 1,000 people were in attendance throughout the day, compared to the 750 who stopped by last year.
“The job fair is a good way for us to get our services out into the community, and it’s great for the younger generations to see what we do,” Maggie Di Grappa, of the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) Canada, said.
Di Grappa said that taking part in the job fair gave employers a chance to reach out to members of the community they otherwise would not be able to. Meeting these people, she said, is a great way to get them familiar with the organization and learn the requirements of the jobs available to them.
By 10:30 a.m., just half-hour after it started, the ballroom was already packed with jobseekers handing out resumes and doing interviews on the spot.
People were able to apply for full-time, seasonal and part-time positions for a number of different jobs available.
Krista Smith of St. Lawrence College Career Services said she had noticed a lot of students this year looking for part-time and seasonal employment.
She said the job fair is a great way for students to get interviews for the jobs they are interested in and learn how to network themselves in person.
“I feel like everything is kind of online now, and it’s nice to actually meet people in person and network with them so they can put a face to your name. Online, your application is just gone, and kind of out of sight, so I think it’s kind of refreshing to do job fairs,” she said.
Samantha Sprule, a first-year student at St. Lawrence, said the job fair was a good opportunity for her to apply for the jobs she wanted.
“It makes it easier for students to actually be able to walk around and see all of the jobs,” Sprule said. “Meeting employers gives a more realistic view of who employers will actually be hiring, and they get to see how they actually respond to people, whereas online you don’t really get that human interaction.”
She said she has been looking for a part-time job for about a month now and has not had any luck. She is hoping that by meeting the employers face to face she will be able to get an interview quicker than applying online.
For students like Sprule, the YGK Job Fair helped them gain networking experience for future job opportunities.
“It gets the students asking questions. I find job fairs are good for employers to do preliminary interviews with them,” Smith said. “That’s good for students, just to prep them for when they actually go in for interviews.”
Meeting employers in person is not just a benefit for students. Many people at the job fair were also able make an impression on the people who may hire them.
“It’s nice to get a feel for them [the applicants] prior to interviewing, and then when you do get their resume, they are no longer just a piece of paper because you actually got to meet them face to face,” Amelia Campbell of St. Lawrence Conference Services said.
Amelia Campbell of St. Lawrence College Conference Services talks to Aswani Ashok about available summer positions, at the YGK Job Fair held Wednesday at the Ambassador Hotel.