Fort Dix
 
Career Fair offers hope and opportunity
Wayne Cook
ASA-Dix Public Affairs

Ed Mingin

To give an edge to its citizen warriors, Army Support Activity-Dix hosted the Ultimate Warrior Technical Workshop and Career Fair June 9-10. The event, which was held at Timmermann Center, is part of an Army Reserve campaign established three years ago to help military personnel find employment upon returning to the civilian sector.

Several people at the 2009 Ultimate Warrior Career Fair were able to gain employment and companies at this yearís job fair were hoping for a repeat performance.

"Last year we were able to hire four employees at this career fair. In the future we will be hiring around 100 new employees," said Ed Darney, a corporate recruiter with R4, Inc., headquartered in Eatontown, N.J.

Navigating the federal application process is not a task for the faint of heart, so organizers brought in Federal Resume Guru Kathryn Troutman to ease the stress. She touched on several topics, including steering through the USAJOBS and Army Civilian Personnel On-line (CPOL) websites.

"I want people to know that they can apply for jobs online at USAJOBS, but it takes work. Itís a great tool but you have to take the time to use it correctly," Troutman said.

Troutman, a best-selling author, career consultant, founder and president of The Resume Place, Inc., based in Baltimore, is recognized as the leading expert on federal career consulting. She has written books on federal resume writing which include, The Federal Resume Guidebook, and Ten Steps to a Federal Job.

In addition to Troutmanís assistance with the federal aspect, a resume writing workshop was held to help negotiate the civilian sector.

Forty-five volunteer human resource specialists from the Tip of the Arrow Foundation, Corporate Staffing Services, LLC, and the Garden State Council-Society for Human Resource Management were on hand to offer advice and tips on proper civilian resume writing and help build a solid resume. They also provided resources for interview preparation and helped match individual skills and employment desires to particular companies.

"I think the service provided here is extremely valuable as most people donít think of our employment on the back side of our deployments and mobilization time. I found the employers to be very receptive of my resume and interest. There are a few possibilities out here for me," said Sgt. Timothy Jenkins, 1st/309th Training Support Battalion, 72nd Field Artillery Brigade.

Maj. Loring Bush, a Hackensack, N.J., resident with the 800th Military Police Brigade said, "I think Iíve had some good hits. There have been some great responses to my inquiries."

More than 65 companies and organizations responded to the call for the career fair including: FedEx Ground, Comcast, CACI, New Jersey Transit Authority, Securitas, New York City Fire Department, New Jersey Department of Corrections, Cablevision, Seimens, United States Secret Service, Cintas, AT&T, United States Department of Labor and many more.

Many of the represented companies were able to identify prospective employees throughout the day as a lot of applicants had prepared resumes in hand.

"The employers said the quality of applicants was very high and there have been hundreds of resumes received and at least 50 interviews scheduled with many of the companies over the next couple of weeks. The common point expressed by the applicants was that it was one of the best organized job fairs they had attended. Approximately 275 people attended the resume workshop on the first day and more than 500 applicants attended the career fair," said Lt. Col. Cynthia Palinski, ASA-Dix deputy commander for mobilization, and project officer of this yearís event.

"Overall, this was a pretty successful career fair for our military personnel, our civilians and the family members that attended, and the employers," she said.