Ted Kaufman - United States Senator for Delaware

Jobless meet potential employers

Source: The News Journal

By Jonathan Starkey

August 31, 2010

Almost 900 job seekers from Delaware and surrounding states filed into a federal job fair at the Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington on Monday.

The event, hosted by Sen. Ted KAUFMAN, D-Del., linked the area's jobless up with 45 employers from the government and private sectors, from student lender Sallie Mae to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Amit Sen, a 28-year-old living in Newark, was there to put his multimedia design degree to work.

He earned his degree from Wilmington University in May.

"I'm really looking for someone that has in-house [jobs] so I can work as part of a collaborative team," Sen said between meet-and-greets with prospective employers.

Employment has been picking up here, but not fast enough for the 35,500 Delawareans who remained jobless last month. Delaware's unemployment rate dipped to 8.4 percent in July, from 8.5 percent in June, and the state added 1,100 jobs.

To help with the job-seeking process, a representative of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management held morning and afternoon seminars, demonstrating how to successfully navigate the online application process at www.usajobs.gov.

At noon, motivational speaker and career coach Joyce Dungee Proctor of Apple One Employment Services offered tips for job seekers.

First and foremost, Proctor said, don't be afraid to tap your personal and professional networks. Make sure your friends, relatives, former colleagues and acquaintances know you're looking for work.

Second, develop a personal marketing strategy, she said, complete with stories to tell during interviews that showcase critical skills.

Do research, and include keywords in your résumé that match key qualifications in job descrip- tions, such as "IT," "QuickBooks" and "Customer Service," she said.

And finally, don't be afraid to work a couple of part-time jobs to make up for the lack of a long-term, full-time position.

"You may have to work two" jobs, Proctor said in an interview.

"You may have to work three. You have to be open to the possibility," she said.

Karen Flanagan of Philadelphia heard about the job fair on a midday news show Monday, immediately put on a suit, and drove down to Wilmington.

Flanagan was laid off last week from a pharmaceutical company, where she worked in information management for two years.

"I'm not letting grass grow under my feet," Flanagan said. But, she added, "I don't feel confident. I've never had a problem [finding a job]. This economy is scary."

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