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Employers hope to fair well at Co-Lin job fair

Putting your best foot forward at the Pathways Job Fair could land you a spot with a local, regional or state employer.

Organized by the Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Career, Technical and Workforce Education Center, the job fair will held March 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Thames Conference Center at Co-Lin. While the job fair is on the campus, it’s open to the entire community, said Workforce Director Angela Berch.

“We encourage everyone to come. We’d like for them to bring a resume,” she said. “If they don’t have a resume, dress nice and come anyway.”

She said about 225 to 250 people came to the fair last year and many of them were matched with attending employers. She said 29 employers are on tap to recruit this year, and more are expected to register. Divided between morning and afternoon sessions in the past, this year the event will be a single four-hour session.

The $100 registration fee for recruiting businesses includes one booth with chairs, wireless internet access and two boxed lunches. Monday is the deadline for employers to sign up online at careertraining.coloin.edu/jobfair.

Berch said many employers bring hard copy applications for potential workers to complete there, while others have computers set up for online applications. Either way, Berch suggests job-seekers bring a resume.

Jessica McGaugh, branch manager for the south office for TempStaff, said she attends the job fair to find employees for her clients. Workers are needed for light industrial and clerical jobs from Hazlehurst to the Louisiana line. The current need is for production workers, janitorial and maintenance, food service, laborers, administrative assistants, accounting, data entry clerks and medical and legal office support.

Co-Lin also contracts with TempStaff to fill positions at the college for groundskeepers and cafeteria workers, she said.

She saw about 150 applicants at the job fair last year. Her advice for potential employees is to create a clean, professional resume to present.

“Resumes are a must,” she said. “We prefer one page. Anything more than that is too much. Clients seem to not like that.”

She also encourages complete information like former employers, years worked and jobs performed. A potential employer shouldn’t have to fill in the holes themselves, she said.

Pat Lowery, the CEO for Hurst Review Services, said they’ll be at the job fair to meet potential employees. He warns that applicants should be aware of what’s on their social media pages when applying for jobs.

“That’s the first place employers look, to see who you really are,” he said. “You’re looking to make sure that what they post on there is in alignment with your company’s values.”

He’s not necessarily looking for long, impressive resumes. He wants someone honest and hardworking who is willing to hire. The applicants he chooses to interview further dress appropriately, speak clearly and look him in the eye.

Berch said Families First will be onsite at the job fair to help with resumes. A computer lab will be set up at the Thames Center for applicants’ use.

She suggests applicants dress to make a good first impression.

“You don’t get a chance to make it again,” she said.