Job­seek­ers flock to YGK Job Fair

Fifty-eight em­ploy­ers wel­come more than 1,000 po­ten­tial work­ers dur­ing an­nual event

Kingston Whig-Standard - - NEWS - BY CRYS­TAL OAG

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.

CRYS­TAL OAG/FOR THE WHIG-STAN­DARD

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.

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