Recruiters Searching for Employees at Charlottesville Job Fair
Central Virginia employers are hiring, and they're looking for people who just want to get their feet in the door. Recruiters at Charlottesville's Community Spring Job Fair are searching for employees who are willing to start at the bottom and work their way up.
The unemployed and people looking to switch careers are finding some luck, with more companies hiring. About 20 more came out for Wednesday's job fair compared to the one last fall, but workers with experience say they're struggling to find jobs that match their skills.
Pat Godfrey is screening potential employees to work in CustomInk's Albemarle County production facility. "We're a very quickly expanding company," he said. "We are probably looking for anywhere from 10 to 15 people."
The company is looking to fill another 50 openings in northern Virginia. "We're looking for personality," said Godfrey. "We always like people to keep in mind why they're there and what they're working for."
Next door, on the floor at the John Paul Jones Arena, Sonabank is hiring entry-level positions for its Forest Lakes branch.
"We're looking for a full-time teller and full-time customer service," said Sonabank branch manager Amber Madison. "The only main requirement is customer service skills. Other than that, we can train pretty much anybody."
From government and health care to retail and restaurant, Charlottesville's spring job fair featured 85 employers. That is more than the most recent fairs.
"This time, we also have more entry-level positions," said Hollie Lee with Charlottesville Economic Development. "Hiring in that particular industry - like retail and food service - has picked up a bit, so we're seeing them come out and participate."
But these recruiters are finding fewer people coming out to hand in a resume. This job fair attracted about 1,300 to 1,600 people. Previous ones brought in more than 2,000.
Lee said, "I think the fact our numbers are a little lower shows that people are getting jobs or maybe they've gotten jobs from past events we've had."
This is not the case for Jill Paitsel. She said, "There are definitely a short list of positions."
Paitsel moved to Charlottesville from northern Virginia where she worked in business administration. "I'm changing my vocation," she said. "I'm thinking about going back to school."
Paitsel's preparing for the long haul on the job hunt, but she's not giving up. She stated, "I'm hopeful. I'm real hopeful."
Recruiters say how you sell yourself in person within the first few seconds makes a big impression, especially since so many job applications are now done online. Wednesday's job fair also included colleges, since many people are going back to school to expand their skills.
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