BELVIDERE (WIFR) – Nearly 1,000 people attended today’s annual career fair in Belvidere.
Table after table, the community center gym has become a sign of hope for applicants like Keith Emmert who is searching for a job or the first time in 14 years.
“I am finding most of the work related to what I used to do is based more into Chicagoland so, am I frustrated? Very much so,” Emmert said.
Emmert likely won’t apply to the dozens of positions offered at this year’s Workforce Connection job fair in Belvidere, instead he’s using the even to practice networking. “I need the experience of hanging face, I have been kinda cooped up in the house.”
It’s a much different story for Charles Nance who says he’s sent out hundreds of applications and has yet to hear anything back. “I have accumulated hundreds of resumes I have passed out about 100 and still no replies from any company,” said Nance.
“The difference between having people come to our site and meeting them at a job fair is that it’s more neutral ground so they aren’t nervous and there are a lot of employers here so they can jump around and talk from one to the next,” said Agron Seferi, with Servicom.
Servicom, a local call center, says the company wants to fill nearly 50 entry level positions.
Other employers say the fair is a perfect way to weed out those who wouldn’t be a good fit.
“I think it’s a good sign that there are more than the usual number of companies here hiring.” A good sign, applicants like Emmert hope will turn into a good job in the near future.
Employers offered a few tips for those planning on going to future job fairs. They say it’s best to dress as you would for a job interview and leave the kids at home, considering they can be distracting and show you are unable to get a baby-sitter.